How to Make Almond Paste.
- almond paste
Almond paste is a key ingredient in marzipan and many other European-style candies and pastries. It can be expensive to buy in stores, but it's easy to make at home. You will need blanched almonds and a large food processor for this recipe. If the raw egg white is a concern, you can use pasteurized egg whites found in a carton in grocery.
Boil them for about 1 minute, then drain. (You can pour boiling water over them, as in the case of almonds - it doesn't really matter how you do this.)
Submerge or rinse in cold water, to prevent any further cooking and softening;
For the case of almonds, you should not rub them in order to peel. Just pinch the end - they should pop right out of their peels. If you find it taking any more effort than this, stop, don't waste any more time on peeling, and just blanch them again. If you've blanched them long enough, peeling will be very easy.
Once you've blanched the almonds they will need to be dried. I place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place them in an oven with just the heat of the pilot light. If you have an electric oven, heat oven on low and then turn off the oven, then place the almonds on the try in. Leave the door open. Leave them, but turn them over to dry all sides.
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 large egg white, lightly beaten, at room temperature
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
1. Place the whole blanched almonds and 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar in a large food processor (at least 7 cups in volume) fitted with a steel blade. Process the nuts and sugar until the nuts are very finely ground, stopping periodically to scrape the sides of the processor bowl. The sugar will help prevent the nuts from turning into almond butter, but still be careful about overprocessing.
2. Once the almonds are very finely ground, add the rest of the powdered sugar and pulse until it is completely mixed into the ground almonds.
3. Stop the processor and add the egg white and the almond extract, if using. Turn the processor back on and process the almond paste until it comes together in a clump in the food processor.
4. If it seems very sticky, add a little more powdered sugar, a spoonful at a time, until it is smooth.
5. You can use the almond paste at once or wrap it to use at a later date. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then store it in a zip-top bag. Wrapped this way, the almond paste can be kept for up to 3 months in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer. Make sure to bring the almond paste to room temperature before using it in recipes.