Each month we will be bringing you a recipe from one of our chefs in collaboration with the National Register for Traditional Agro-food Products co-ordinated by the Agriculture Directorate.
In 2014, the Directorate issued a legal notice to setup a register to gather and populate within it agricultural and agro-food products as well as gastronomic recipes. This was done in order to recognise such products in an official manner as truly traditional. Up to this date in Malta we never had a framework or setup to distinguish traditional products from other contemporary food items and products.
In order for a traditional product to be classified as such, the processing, preservation and ageing methods used to make that product or gastronomic plate need to be consolidated in time and have proven usage on the Maltese market or culture for a period that allows transmission between generations. This period shall be no less that twenty-five years. This means that if individuals have a recipe or a product which has been in cultivation or in production for a period no less than 25 years, then these products are eligible to be included in the register.
February Recipe brought to you by Roberta Preca
PRINJOLATA – a traditional Maltese sweet prepared for Carnival
For the biscuits:
600g homemade butter biscuits or use what you have at home preferably white biscuits
200g Madeira sponge
For the butter cream filling:
250g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
2 egg whites
100g icing sugar
Grated orange and lemon zest
1 tbsp vanilla essence
For the filling:
200g roasted almond cut up into small pieces
200g roasted hazelnuts cut up into small pieces
100g roasted pine nuts
200g halved glace cherries
100g candied peel
100g chopped chocolate
50 ml Vermouth
4 egg whites
Leave aside some almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts, glace cherries for the decoration
Roughly break the biscuits into big chunks and add the Madeira sponge into a big bowl. Add almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, glace cherries, candied fruit, chopped chocolate and vermouth. Leaving some cherries, almonds and pine nuts for decoration.
Meanwhile start preparing the butter cream. Beat the butter and icing sugar with the vanilla. Add the lemon and orange zest, beat until light and fluffy. This takes around 10 to 12 mins. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg whites and when frothy, add the icing sugar little by little until it forms stiff peaks. Next, fold the whites into the butter cream.
Add the butter cream with the rest of the biscuit ingredients and mix together.
Time to shape our prinjolata. Turn the mixture onto a serving plate and mould into a dome shape. Allow the prinjolata to dry for a couple of hours before decorating.
For decoration, whisk the egg whites until a stiff peak is formed. Cook the sugar and water over a low heat until it reaches a temperature of 120°C on a sugar thermometer. Pour the hot sugar slowly over the meringue, whisking constantly. Keep whisking even after the sugar syrup is all poured in, until the meringue has cooled down. Spread the meringue over the prinjolata and decorate with the pine nuts, almonds and glaced cherries cut in half. Drizzle melted chocolate with a teaspoon.