By Rachel Zammit Cutajar

Photo by Rachel Zammit Cutajar

Quarezima, the Latin word that refers to the 40 days of Lent, is where this traditional Maltese biscuit gets its name. Made without eggs or dairy products, this was how the Maltese saitiated their sweet tooth during the stricter days when fasting was more common.



  • 300g pure ground almonds
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 150g golden sugar
  • 1 orange, juice and zest
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • ½ tsp fresh nutmeg
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp dark rum
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water (ilma zghar)
  • 50ml water (as required)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Place all the ingredients except the water in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
  3. Add the water a little at a time until you get a stiff sticky dough.
  4. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces.
  5. Roll out into an oblong shape and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and press down with a fork.
  6. Bake for 25 mins until set. The biscuits will feel soft but they will harden a little as they cool.
  7. When the biscuits come out of the oven, brush with a little honey and sprinkle over the toasted almonds and pistachios.
  8. Allow to cool completely and then store in an air tight container.

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