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Imqaret-Maltese Date Fritters

O.K. so I know that this is not strictly Italian at all. But I am a lover of all food and this dish is one that brings back happy memories of time spent in Malta. If you ever visit Malta you will find that several cuisines shape the style of Maltese cooking. British, French, Italian of course and Arab or North African cuisine.

I have been to Malta quite a few times now and just simply can not resist these little sweet treats. They are usually sold from mobile or static 'kiosks' in the street and have a very good stall just out side the entrance to the walled City of Valletta the Maltese capitol. Imqaret are basically date fritters. It doesn't sound as exciting when you put it like that. But when you combine the small list of ingredients and spices this wonderful treat comes to life. The ingredients for the imqarets are as follows: 400g Plain flour 2 tablespoons lard or margarine 1 Tablespoon caster sugar 1.250 kg pitted dates (soaked for an hour before in 1 tablespoon of anisette, and a little water) Zest of 1 orange 2 tablespoon anisette, brandy or sambuca (1 tablespoon is for soaking the dates: see above) 1 tablespoon orange flower water A small pinch of ground cloves

Method:

For the imqaret dough, rub the fat (lard or Marg) into the flour. Add the sugar to the mix and rub in gently. Moisten the mix with a little anisette (or Brandy or sambuca) and a touch of water so that a soft dough is formed. Now for the filling: Drain the dates. Combine the dates, cloves, orange zest, liquor and orange water. Roll the imqaret dough out into a long wide strip and place the filling on the top of the dough to form a layer about 1.5 cm thick. leaving a small edge around the 'border' clear. Moisten the edge of the pastry and fold over to cover the filling. Press all edges well together to seal with the back of a fork. Cut into diamond or rectangular shapes (about 4 x 3 inches.) Fry in clean deep hot oil until golden and crisp.

Finally drain on absorbent kitchen paper and serve whilst still hot.

When I have made these at home I have served them with a little bit of runny honey and a few chopped pistachios.....and a dollop of ice cream. Try clotted cream ice cream if you can get it. But that is up to you. They are fine just the way they are! Well there you go. This recipe works for me but If any one has got any other ways of making them then please do let me know. I am always willing to try new ways!

Imqaret

Ingredients

* 400g Flour * 1 tablespoon lard

* 1 tablespoon margarine * 1 tablespoon sugar * 1.2 kg pitted dates * 1 orange peel grated * 1 tablespoon anisette * 1 tablespoon orange flower water * A pinch of ground cloves

Directions

1. To make the dough, rub the lard into the flour. 2. Add the sugar and mix. 3. Moisten with anisette and orange flower water until you can form a soft dough. 4. Next prepare the filling. 5. Mash the dates and mix with the cloves, orange peel, anisette and orange flower water. 6. Note: If the dates are hard, soak in water for about thirty minutes to soften. Drain before using. 7. Roll the dough out into a long wide strip and spread the prepared filling on the top half of the dough to form a layer about a quarter of an inch thick. 8. Wet the edge of the pastry and fold over to cover the filling. 9. Press all edges well together to seal. 10. Cut into diamond or rectangular shapes (about 3.5 x 2.5 inches.) 11. Fry in deep hot oil till golden in colour. 12. Let drain and eat while still hot. Enjoy! *

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Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 maqrut 61g

Recipe makes 12 maqrut)

The following items or measurements are not included below:

sambuca romana Calories 204 Calories from Fat 35 Amount Per Serving Total Fat 4.0g (17%) %DV 6%

Saturated Fat 0.6g

2%

Monounsaturated Fat 2.7g Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g Trans Fat 0.0g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 1mg 0% 0%

Potassium 176mg 5% Total Carbohydrate 40.4g Dietary Fiber 2.5g 10% Sugars 17.9g Protein 3.3g 6% 13%

how is this calculated? Imqaret ( Maltese Deep Fried Date Pastries) Recipe #372001 | 50 min | 30 min prep | add private note | Edit... My Notes:

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(0) RATE IT NOW Print Recipe Your review has been submitted for approval and will appear shortly. Wild Thyme Flour

By: Wild Thyme Flour May 14, 2009

This is a typical Maltese traditional sweet.

12 maqrut (change servings and units) Ingredients

* 250 g pitted dates, chopped * 1 tangerine, zest and juice * 2 tablespoons sambuca romana * 2 tablespoons icing sugar * 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (optional)

Pastry

* 250 g plain flour

* 50 ml olive oil (or 75g margarine)

Directions

1. 1 Soften the dates in a sauce pan with 3 tbsp tangerine juice and 2 tbsp water ( about 5 minutes). 2. 2 Stir in the other ingredients, cool. 3. 3 Pastry: rub the oil in the flour and bring it with enough water to form a dough. Rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. 4. 4 Cut in half and shape each piece into a rectangular shape. Spread the filling along the middle of the rectangle then fold the two sides and seal. 5. 5 Cut into squares and deep fry or brush generously in oil and bake in a preheated oven at 200C for about 20 minutes. 6. 6 Eat while hot.