Imqaret are Maltese traditional, diamond shaped sweet pastries, filled with dates and sprinkled with icing sugar. They are a truly decadent dessert, best paired with coffee and a dollop of vanilla ice-cream (you'll thank us later). These sweets can be enjoyed in any season, but they sure do go down well during the cold winter months! Read on to find out how to prepare these yummy pastries.
Ingredients For the pastry
- 650g plain flour
- 175g margarine
- 85g sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
For the filling
- 360g dates pitted and chopped
- grated rind of 1 orange
- aniseed liqueur
- orange-blossom water
- Sift the flour together with the baking powder. Rub margarine into the flour till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add sugar. Mix well.
- Bind it with beaten egg to make a dough. Leave the pastry to rest for 30 minutes.
- Whilst the pastry is resting prepare the filling.
- Place all the ingredients of the filling into a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally. Allow to simmer until the whole mixture becomes creamy.
- Remove from heat and put mixture in a bowl and leave to cool.
- Put the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out into a 10cm wide strip.
- Moisten the edges of the pastry and put the date mixture down the middle of the long strip of pastry, fold over to enclose the date filling. Press the edges together tightly.
- With a sharp knife, cut diagonally across the pastry into 5 cm long diamond-shaped imqaret.
- Deep fry them in boiling oil until golden brown. Drain thoroughly from the oil and serve hot.