I'm embarrassed. I was close to fifty and I didn't know how to blanch almonds. My friends and family know me as a high maintenance-food-elitist-cooking-snob and yet I didn't even know what a blanched almond was! *GASP!* Ok, I wasn't embarrassed really. I was just miffed.
So what are blanched almonds anyway? Blanched almonds are almonds without the skins. That's it! Nothing else.
I have several Italian cakes and Italian cookie recipes that call for them. The photo gallery below has all the Italian dessert recipes I have that call for blanched almonds. So once you know how to blanch almonds - you can bake away. That's how I got started, my recipes kept calling for them.
I've had success. And I've had not-so-much-success a couple of times. With my adventures in blanching - I think I've covered everything NOT to do, and written it as simple as I could so you can have success first time out.
Plan on at least if you are doing about a cups worth, and that's mainly because I'm adding in cooling time. The doing of it isn't that long - but you need them to cool and dry too.
Here's all you need:
Thanks for stopping by - the steps are listed below.
Boil water. No need to over analyze. That simple.
Once the water boils - add almonds. DO NOT GO ANYWHERE! Leave almonds in boiling water for ONE minute - no longer!
After one minute take the boiling water off of the stove and pour into a colander/strainer. Immediately rinse with cold water.
Now, the fun part - popping the almonds out of their skin. The almond skin will look like real old people's skin and should be slippery enough to come loose pretty easy. I just pop, slide and shoot. And they will shoot far if you want to make a game of it for your kids. (Do I need a disclaimer, here?)
Lay the blanched almonds in a single layer to air out. I usually let my blanched almonds sit a bit before using them to cook with.
Did you boil longer than one minute? Hmmm... Really? Nobody interupted you? No kids asked a question, no dogs barking? Could be several reasons - humidity, older almonds, boiled too long. Bottom line - you want them dried. To remedy you can try the following:
Whole unblanched almonds. They will look the picture at the left.
All in all blanching almonds is easy. Not a complex process. So, now that you know how blanch almonds yourself - give it a try!
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