[WATCH] Kwarezimal

Watch Pippa Mattei make some traditional kwarezimal – the perfect sweet to indulge in throughout Lent

Watch Pippa Mattei make traditional kwarezimal



  • 250g almonds, with brown skins on
  • 30g unsalted pistachios, shelled 250g (10oz) plain flour
  • 250g demerara sugar
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1 tangerine, zest only
  • ½ tsp nutmeg, grated
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • Juice of one orange
  • 1 tot dark rum
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water (ilma zahar)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 50ml water

To garnish

  • 2 tbsp Maltese honey
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water (ilma zahar)


  1. Wash and slightly bake almonds with brown skins on (about 15 minutes high oven) chop finely (process ideally).
  2. Put into large mixing bowl, and add flour and sugar, grated rinds, spices, cocoa, rum, orange juice and orange blossom water, mix well adding the water to bind. You should now have a stiff sticky dough.
  3. Carefully divide into five equal portions and shape portions into sausage shapes on a marble top or wooden board (you may put a tiny bit of flour to make them less sticky).
  4. Slightly flatten each roll to make wide ‘fingers’ measuring 14 cm x 4 cm.
  5. Flatten with a fork making indents along the tops. Then carefully place these on a non- stick baking tray, and bake in a moderate oven 180°C mins until set. (They will not be hard, but will harden slightly when cold, when the outside will be firm but the inside still fairly soft.)
  6. Put the pistachios in the oven for 15 mins, then chop roughly and set aside.
  7. When the kwarezimal are baked but still warm, put the honey and orange blossom water into small pot and warm gently for one min, then with a pastry brush, coat the indented surface of each kwarezimal.
  8. Finally, sprinkle the pistachios over the tops and allow the kwarezimal to cool slightly.
  9. Carefully move onto a cooling rack to get completely cold. Serve in slices.

More of Pippa Mattei’s recipes can be found in her cookbooks Pippa’s Festa and 25 Years in a Maltese Kitchen.

This recipe first appeared on Gourmet Today TV, aired on TVM on 20 February, 2015.