To blanch whole
almonds, place in boiling water for about 1 minute. Drain and place in ice
water to stop further cooking of the almonds. Peel the skin off with your
fingers. Bake them in a 350 degree F (180 degree C) oven for about 5-10
minutes, or until almonds are dry, but have no color.
are illegal in the United States. They have a stronger flavor than the sweet
almonds but also contain prussic acid, which is toxic when raw. The acid's
toxicity is destroyed when the almonds are processed. Bitter almonds are
mainly used in extracts and flavorings. They are prized in Europe and
sometimes a little is added to almond meal and marzipan to intensify the almond
Almonds are used
to make almond paste and marzipan. Almond paste is a combination of equal
parts ground blanched almonds and sugar, mixed with glucose, corn syrup or egg
whites. It is pliable with a sweet almond flavor and grainy texture. Sold in
cans or tubes, I recommend using the can variety as it has a superior taste.
Almond paste is used in pastry making and confectionery to cover cakes and
pastries, as well as forming into different shapes and figures.
Marzipan, on the
other hand, is a cooked mixture of finely ground almonds, sugar, and water.
Slightly sweeter with a smoother texture, it is firmer than almond paste but is
still pliable. It can be colored and rolled out to cover cakes and pastries, or
formed into shapes. It comes in plastic- wrapped rolls.
of the almond trees,
April's gift to April's bees."
- Edwin Arnold
1 cup slivered =
1 cup sliced = 85
1 cup coarsely
chopped = 85 grams
1 cup finely ground
= 100 grams
powder fine = 85 grams
Almonds are used in both sweet (dessert making) and savory dishes
(thickeners for sauces, used in stuffings for meats).
Many cuisines use ground almonds in place of flour.
Ground almonds can be mixed with water to make almond milk. The
Persians and Arabs made almond milk thousands of years ago and in early
China infants were feed almond milk.
Almond trees were brought to New England in the 1840s but the climate
was not conducive for growing almond trees. Eventually they made
their way to the Central Valley of California which has the perfect
climate for growing the trees.
There are different varieties of sweet almonds, some sweeter tasting
Almonds are harvested once a year.