The holiday baking has begun, and a great many recipes are featuring almond paste as an added flavor.
Instead of spending a lot of money on a processed version at the grocery, why not make your own? It’s easy. Really.
Better still, you can make as much as you need. If there’s any left over, just refrigerate it. The ingredients will never go bad, so you don’t have to use it up in a hurry.
It does help to have a kitchen scale. This recipe works when you have equally weighted amounts of almonds and powdered sugar. Do not measure in a cup.
One suggestion for using almond paste is this galette, which I made recently using apples and pears instead of the peaches and cherries this recipe calls for. I increased the amount of almond paste in the recipe significantly — and I was glad I did.
8 ounces almonds (see note)
8 ounces powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
Small amount of your choice of lemon zest, amaretto or almond extract
Place the almonds, powdered sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add your choice of flavoring and process until smooth. Use the spout to drizzle in a tiny amount of water at a time and let it thicken to desired texture, not too firm and not too watery. You want to be able to spread it. I used about 1/8 cup total, but you may need less or more.
Note: You can use any kind of unseasoned almond you like. If you want your paste to be whiter, use blanched, peeled almonds. If you don’t care what the color is, you can leave the skin on.
From John Griffin