Author Karmen Tedesco talks to Rita O’Dwyer from SBS Radio Maltese program about how to make a classic recipe for Christmas honey rings. This recipe, which has been passed on from generation to generation, is also mentioned in one of the oldest Maltese Christmas carols, "Ninu, Ninu tal-Milied". However, originally these rings were made with chestnut filling instead of treacle and semolina.
- 400 g plain flour
- 100 g semolina
- 150 g margarine
- 200 ml orange juice or water
- 1 jar (350 ml) of treacle
- 1 orange, rind grated
- 1 lemon, rind grated
- 1 mandarin, rind finely chopped
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp mixed spice
- 2 tbsp aniseed liqueur
- 350 ml hot water
- 150 g semolina
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 2 hours
To make the pastry, mix together the flour, semolina and margarine, until the mixture comes together like breadcrumbs. Bind with the orange juice or water, until it becomes a soft, smooth dough. Cover and allow to rest in a cool place.
To make the filling, mix together all the ingredients except the semolina. Place in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a moderate heat.
Remove the saucepan and gradually stir in the semolina. Return to the heat and stir continuously over a moderate heat, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Allow to cool.
Roll out the pastry into long strips, 5 cm wide and 30 m long. In the centre of each strip, pipe some of the filling. Brush the ends of the pastry with water and stick together. Shape into a ring by bringing both ends together. Make slits in the rings at 6cm intervals for the filling to come out.
Place the honey rings on a baking sheet, sprinkled with semolina and let them rest for 2 hours.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden in colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.