Homemade Almond Meal & Almond Paste
Whenever I make macarons I like to use my own homemade almond meal. One 10 lb bag of almonds from Sam's Club allows me to make a variety of goodies for the holidays and still be able to make plenty of almond flour for my macarons. This isn't surprising because there are 9 cups of almonds in one bag! The almond meal that I've purchased from the supermarket doesn't taste as good to me in the final product (though I've heard that Trader Joe's has an awesome almond meal.).
The first thing you have to do is blanch the almonds. Bring a large pot of water to boiling temperature then add your almonds carefully. After about a minute (I usually go for only 45 seconds) drain the almonds in a colander and pour cold water over the almonds. You'll see that the almond skins will come off easily. After you're finished removing the skins, put the almonds on cookie sheet and pat dry. I let the almonds dry for several hours before grinding.
I use my magic bullet to make the almond flour. After the almonds have been ground a bit I sift the almond meal then put the larger pieces back into the magic bullet to pulse again. If you grind the almond meal too much, you'll end up with almond butter. Once I am finished, I will sift the almond meal once more just to make sure that no large bits of almonds escaped through. On to making almond paste!
Homemade Almond Paste:
- 62.5g sugar
- 20ml honey ( or 1 tablespoon)
- 25ml water (or 5 teaspoons)
- 125g ground almonds
- few drops of almond extract
- 12.5g butter
- Place the sugar, honey and water in a saucepan and bring to a strong boil.
- Remove the boiling sugar from the heat and pour over the almonds. Add in the almond extract and blend until smooth. This may take 10 minutes or more, depending on the strength of the food processor. Remember, food processors are not usually strong enough to yield the same consistency as the almond paste that you can buy. if your mixture is too thick and the food processor is straining, you can add a little Kirsch or simple syrup to the processor. Add the liquid slowly and stop when the processor is moving more freely. The quality of almond paste is determined by how smooth the consistency is.
- Wrap the almond paste in plastic wrap and allow it to cool. When you are ready to use it, knead in the butter. the butter makes it smooth and not so sticky. Refrigerate in the chiller compartment of your fridge for up to a month.
Recipe Source: Evan's Kitchen's Ramblings