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Imqaret are a traditional Maltese dessert that consist of a fried thin sweet pastry filled with a flavourful spiced date and citrusy paste.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Maltese, Mediterranean
Keyword: Dates, Imqaret, Pastry
Servings: 40 pieces


For the Dough

  • 400 g flour
  • 100 g cold butter cubed
  • 1 tbsp orange flower water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 60 ml water
  • 1 tsp aniseed liquor

For the Date filling

  • 400 g dates pitted
  • zest of an orange
  • 1 tbsp orange flower water
  • 125 ml water
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp aniseed


For the filling

  • Chop the dates into small pieces and place in a bowl of water for about half an hour.
  • Remove the dates from the water and place them in a pot on low heat. Reserve the water and set aside.
  • Together with the dates add all the other ingredients and cook gently on low heat. While constantly mixing the mixture add the water. Keep cooking until the dates break down and a thick mixture is formed. Place the paste in the fridge for about an hour.

For the dough

  • Add all the ingredients together, except the water, and combine everything well together. Start adding the water gently and knead the dough. Knead for a few minutes until you get a nice soft dough.
  • Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for about an hour.


  • Divide the dough and the filling into four portions.
  • On a floured surface, open each dough into a long rectangle about 50cm long and 10/15cm width.
  • Layer the paste on the dough on one side, leaving a border. Grab the small border over the date paste and close with the dough side over. Press the dough down gently.
  • Cut horizontally the diamond shaped imqaret. I make medium sized ones, as I cut the dough in 10 pieces. However, you can cut them as big as you'd like.

Fried Imqaret

  • Fill a large pot with vegetable oil. Heat the oil to about 170°C.
  • Cook the imqaret in batches for about 1 minute on each side. Place the cooked imqaret on a plate with tissue paper so that it absorbs the excess oil.

Baked Imqaret

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and sprinkle some flour on top. Place the imqaret on the tray and leave some space between them. 
  • Bake for 20 minutes until they are golden brown.