You are browsing recipes, and zero in on one you like. You take a look at the ingredients and find that it needs blanched almonds or almond flour. And all you have are plain old almonds! Sigh. Fret not, we’ve got you covered.
A blanched almond is a shelled almond— an almond without its skin. And how does one remove the skin — the kind of skin that seems fused to the flesh? It’s easy, really — you’ll see in a bit. And it only takes five minutes to do so, plus it is far cheaper than buying it from a store. I kid you not. And definitely more hygienic. So, don’t let ‘blanched almonds’ in a recipe stop you from making a dish or cake you like (like this almond cake) hereafter — blanch almonds at home.
You Will Need
Raw almonds — however much you have on hand
A pot of water
Hand towels, or paper towels
Colander, or anything else that’ll work as a strainer
Chill water, resting or from the tap
- Bring the water in the pot to a boil.
- Add the almonds to the boiling water and quickly lower the heat.
- Let it simmer for EXACTLY one minute. Any longer, and your almonds start to soften.
- After a minute, drain the almonds in the colander and rinse them thrice in chill water.
- Place the now wrinkly-skinned almonds on a towel.
- Now, hold an almond with three fingers and gently apply pressure — with your thumb on one side and you pointer finger and middle finger on the other— pull taught the skin so that the almond shoots out of the skin. Keep your other hand in front to catch the almond.
- With practice you’ll be able to do it with one hand — breaking two almonds at a time, one in each hand. Squeeze the almond so it launches in your closed palm. I’ve opened my palms slightly so you can see what goes on (in the last image).
- Discard the skins (or empty them into your compost pit) and dry the almonds.
That’s it! They’re ready to use in your recipes, or in this almond cake. Sprinkle blanched almond slivers or powder over salads, ice creams, soups, cakes — pretty much anything — to make it healthy and to add to the texture. If you want to grind the now dry blanched almonds to a powder, then I suggest roughly chopping them or slicing them and then grinding them so that the machine does not get hot when grinding them. Also run the food processor in short bursts so you don’t give it time to heat up. If you’re making a cake, add the almond slices and sugar and give the food processor a whizz.
Storage: You can refrigerate them for 3 months; freeze them for a year.
Almond Cake (notjustspice)