Monday, January 24, 2011

Blanched Almonds

Blanched and ground almonds are used in many pastry applications. They provide crunch in cookies, and the base to many desserts. With the recognition of celiac disease, it has even help bakers create crusts for cheesecake and pies without the use of flour. How to blanche them? The procedure in a cook book from 1864 is remarkably similar to now. From The Complete Confectioner:

 My method:

Blanching and Peeling AlmondsWhole almonds with skins -Bring a pot of water to boiling. Add in desired amount of nuts and allow to boil for 2-3 minutes, depending on how much almonds are in the pot. Remove from heat and drain nuts. Allow to cool enough so that peeling the nuts will not burn skin but still warmed, and simply pop the almonds out of their skins. Squeezing from the rounded ends usually assists in removal. When all the nuts have been skinned, allow to dry then dry thoroughly in oven, or toast until desired shade of brown and use in recipes.

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