Imqaret – Dates Pastries

  • Time:
    2 hours
  • Serves:
    24 imqaret

Imqaret are traditionally Maltese sweets that consist of a diamond shaped pastry filled with dates.


Pastry Date Filling
600 grams plain flour 500 grams pitted dates
225 grams butter 2 orange zest
50 grams caster sugar 6 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons anisette liqueur 2 tablespoons anisette
1 teaspoon orange blossom water 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
50ml water

In a large bowl sift the flour. Add the butter cut into small chunks and use the tip of your fingers to rub the butter into the flour.  Repeat the process until the mixture becomes grainy. Add the caster sugar, anisette, orange blossom and 50 ml of water to the flour mixture. Kneed the dough until it becomes smooth. Add more water if necessary.

imqaret -flour and butter imqaret -grainy flour and butterimqaret - pastry

Set the pastry aside in a cool place.  In the meantime prepare the dates mixture.  In a medium sized saucepan, cut the dates into small chunks to help the date to melt more evenly.  Add the orange zest and the water to the saucepan.   Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture becomes creamy.  Remove from heat and add the anisette, orange blossom and mixed spice.

imqaret - dates & oranges imqaret - date chunks imqaret - date & orange zest

On a floured surface roll out the pastry into strips  12 cm wide.  Spread the dates mixture in the center of the strip leaving around 3.5 cm clear from each edge.  Fold the dough from one end on top of the dates mixture.

imqaret - dough strip imqaret - dates strip imqaret - dates strip fold

Water the edge of the dough on top of the dates mixture.  Fold the other side of the dough on top of the watered edge.  Lightly use your fingers to press the edges, the water will help to seal better.  Use a sharp knife to cut the pastry into 6 cm chunks. Heat the oil in a saucepan and deep fry the imqaret until they become golden brown.  Drain from excess oil and server warm.

imqaret - strip imqaret - ready to be cookedimqaret - ready to be cooked imqaret

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