Warning: This unique recipe produces tiny diamond shaped envelopes that are highly addictive :)
Imqaret were traditionally eaten mainly during the village festa. They have since become one of the most popular snacks on the Maltese islands. Like pastizzi, these delightful date filled pies are not for the health conscious because these delicious diamond shaped fruit pies are deep fried! (A "healthier" alternative is to bake them instead of deep frying them.)
On the Maltese islands, you can find imqaret being sold at the village or town’s festa, and at tiny “hole in the wall” take-aways. You can also see them being sold from street stalls especially at the entrance of Valletta, the capital of Malta. You’ll know that there’s imqaret close by from their lovely smell.
There are many date recipes around, but this easy pie recipe is sure to get you addicted to imqaret in no time :)
450 grms (or 15.87 oz) flour
110 grms (or 3.88 oz) margarine
1 tablespoon sugar
A few drops of aniseed liqueur
A few drops of orange-blossom water
360 grms (or 12.69 oz) stoned dates (chopped)
Shredded tangerine and lemon or orange peel
A pinch of ground cloves
1 tablespoon aniseed liqueur
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
How to prepare the pastry
Sieve the flour into a large bowl. Cut the margarine into small pieces and rub into the flour. Add the sugar and blend well. Moisten with the aniseed liqueur and orange-blossom water. Allow to stand for some 30 minutes.
Filling the pies
To fill the pies, put all the filling ingredients into a saucepan. You then need to cook over low heat. Don't forget to stir occasionally. Simmer until you see that the mixture has become creamy.
How to make the Imqaret
Roll out the pastry into a wide strip (approx. 10 centemetres) over a floured surface.
Next you need to moisten the pastry's edges. Place the date mixture in the middle of the pastry strip. Fold over so that you enclose the date filling. Now press edges together. You need to press them tightly. Using a sharp knife, cut across the pastry (in a diagonal way) so that you get long diamond shaped little pies. Their size should be around 5 centemetres.
The imqaret are now ready for frying. Using the deep frying method, your next step is to fry them. The oil has to be boiling. Fry them until they become golden brown. Drain the imqaret. You can also dap them with tissue paper to remove excess oil. Imqaret are served hot.
We hope you enjoyed this yummy recipe. Try it out and let us know how you like it!