The word ‘kwareżimal’ is derived from the latin word quaresima referring to the 40 days of Lent, and the ingredients of this sweet reflect the simplicity of food during this period. In fact, during this time, traditionally there is no use of eggs and fats.
This recipe is based on the book by Helen and Anne Caruana Galizia L-Ikel u t-Tisjir ta’ Malta (The food and cookery of Malta) and to me this book is a genuine reference for typical Maltese cookery. I find this kwareżimal more attractive and I like the practical bite sized portions. I have reduced sugar in this recipe and use honey and stevia as an alternative source of sweetness.
You will need:
- 200 g ground almonds
- 200 g plain flour, sifted
- Stevia, check label on jar and use equivalent of 150g sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon orange flower water
- Grated zest of one lemon, one orange and one mandarin
- 3 tablespoons honey and 2 tablespoons stevia
- Crushed pistachios, almonds and grated orange zest to decorate.
Combine all the ingredients and add just enough water to make a tough dough.
Knead lightly into an bite-sized oval shape.
Place on a baking dish and bake at 180°C for 10 minutes.
While they are still warm, coat with thyme honey and sprinkle crushed pistachios and almonds and grated zest.