If you’ve got a food processor and the willingness to *pop!* blanched almonds out of their loosely fitting brown skins, you can make your own almond paste!
It will be a little less smooth than the grocery store kind that comes in a tube, but it will be much more flavorful, with tons of that lovely sweet almond essence that really only comes from freshly ground almonds.  It will also be less expensive, and you will rest assured that its three ingredients are not weird chemicals or preservatives: almonds, sugar, and egg whites.
Almond Paste 1
Your food processor will do most of the work once you’ve blanched & peeled your almonds.  Peeling the almonds, however, is one of those jobs that takes a little time.   I never knew how loose almond skins would get after a quick bath in hot water, or how perfectly the little nuts would pop out of said skins.  I recommend tackling this job with a friend, preferably while sitting on a porch swing.  Or something along those lines.  Try to avoid having toddlers grasping at your ankles and saying Mommy! Hold me!  This mars the romance of peeling almonds.

Really, though, peeling the almonds is not tough at all. Dulcie and I peeled the 3 cups of blanched almonds for this recipe in less than 20 minutes.  The rest of the recipe takes about 5 minutes.

Homemade Almond Paste Recipe

  • 3 cups raw almonds (not roasted, or the blanching step will not work correctly)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites

Heat a big pot of water to boiling.  Dump a scant 3 cups of almonds into the boiling water (they’ll expand quite a bit as they boil) and boil for one minute.  Drain immediately and let cool for a few minutes before peeling their loose brown skins off.  Discard skins.

Re-measure the 3 cups of blanched almonds to make sure you have exactly 3 cups – you may have a few extra due to how they expand in the hot water.  Add the 3 cups of blanched almonds to a food processor and let run until the almonds are broken down into very very tiny pieces – 1-2 minutes.

Next add the 3 cups of powdered sugar and let run for another 1-2 minutes.  Take your time on this step – you want to get the mixture as finely ground as possible.  Once you add the egg whites, the whole mixture will ball up into a very firm and sticky mass and unless you have a really powerful food processor you will not be able to process it much past this point!

Last step – add the 2 eggs white and process until they’re fully incorporated.  Store tightly sealed in airtight containers in the refrigerator for a week.  I’ve frozen my almond paste for a few months with great results.

 

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