Easter lamb (pecura) is the sweet that takes centre stage at Favara Easter tables. Made from almond paste and stuffed with pistachios, it is in the shape of a small sheep, often in large versions too.
Tradition tells us that the first to prepare this dessert were the nuns at the Mary Convent in the “Batia” quarter of Favara. The recipe was handed down orally by the older nuns to the younger ones.
One of the first Easter Lamb recipes goes back to 1898 and belonged to a rich family from the agrarian, sulphur-producing bourgeoisie. At the time, it was a sweet produced strictly in families.
The recipe required blanching then peeling the almonds and pistachios. Then they were finely ground. 800 grams of powdered sugar were then dissolved in 250 g of water. After that, the almond flour was dissolved in the sugar syrup to form a thick paste. The same was done to the pistachio flour (whose paste formed the heart, the lamb’s filling). For every 100 g of almonds, you would need 50g of pistachios. The paste is put into lamb-shaped moulds and left to harden before removing it.
Vanilla was used to sweeten the paste, and lemon zest to give it fragrance.
The lamb was then decorated with silver sugar balls and pistachios.