Imqaret are a very famous deep fried sweet Maltese treat. The ones you find around Malta are mostly fried in oil, however we chose to bake them and used already made pastry. If you want to make your own pastry it is quite easy to do and you can always deep fry them!!
The deep frying method does give it a unique taste but in my opinion the taste is in the filling. The delicious orange blossom water that we Maltese have been using for ages, from curing a poorly tummy to creating delicious tasty sweet pastries and the use of aniseed give these pastries their unique taste.
Try them out, they are exquisite!! We used only 250g dates but feel free to double the amount to make more.
- 250g dates, pitted and chopped
- 1-2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp grated orange zest
- 1 tsp orange flower water
- Pinch ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground aniseed
- 1 ready-made sheet shortcrust or sweet pastry
- Flour, for dusting
HOW TO PREPARE
- Start by blending all the ingredients, apart from the pastry obviously in a food processor. Add the water bit by bit, you do not want a very liquid mixture. Do leave the mixture a bit lumpy. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Dust your kitchen bench with flour and roll the pastry sheet, using a flour dusted rolling pin roll out the sheet so it becomes thinner. Cut into two long strips, put the mixture in the middle alongside the pastry strip leaving an inch on each so you can seal easily. Wet the edges with some water and cover with the other strip of pastry and seal well, packing the date mixture well. Slice into diamond shapes or slices (see picture) and bake into the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
- Serve hot or cold.