Almond Paste has a wonderfully exotic flavor which can enhance hundreds of gluten free baking recipes, cookies, and pastries. Almonds are not only safe for celiac diets, but a leading source of vitamin E and magnesium in addition to offering potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and fiber. According to the American Heart Association, 64% of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated, which makes them an excellent heart-healthy, cholesterol lowering diet choice. The following almond paste recipes are time-tested and offer a variety of solutions for your recipe needs.
Basic Almond Paste
1 pound shelled, blanched, peeled almonds (simply put, the almonds look whitish in color, with no brown skin on them – it doesn’t matter if they are whole or slivered)
3 1/2 cups gluten free confectioner’s sugar
2-3 egg whites
1. Grind the nuts in a food processor with a sharp blade until they are almost turning to the consistency of peanut butter. (This is a perfect opportunity to use one of the original Cuisinarts that turned everything to mush and slush.)
2. After grinding the almonds to a paste, add the sugar and 2 egg whites. Process until the mixture forms a uniform ball. Add the third egg white only if you have to.
3. You will probably need to separate the mixture into two batches to process the paste. If that is the case, mix the almonds and sugar, divide it in half, then add one egg white to each half. That is the best way.
This almond paste will work for baked goods. Do not eat it raw, as it contains raw eggs. It will keep for less than a week in the refrigerator, so use it quickly.
Blender Almond Paste
1/2 c. orange juice
2C blanched almonds
1 Cup Sugar
1. Blend 1 cup almonds and sugar and orange juice until nuts are very fine.
2. Blend remaining almonds until they are very fine.
3. Knead together and cover with dampened cheesecloth, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Party Almond Paste
1 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds
1 2/3 cups gluten free confectioners sugar
1/4 cup egg whites
1. In a food processor, grind the almonds into a fine powder, approximately 2 minutes. Add the confectioners sugar and blend well.
2. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and with a wooden spoon blend in the egg whites until smooth.
3. On a flat surface lightly dusted with confectioners sugar, roll out the almond paste into a 14″ long x 1″ round log. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. When rested, cut the log in two. On a smoother clean surface, roll out each piece to double its length, approximately 20 inches. Flatten each roll with your fingertips.
5. Using a knife or a metal spatula, score the tops of the logs with crisscross marks. Coil each log and place on a servicing plate.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. You can store in a closed container in the refrigerator for one week.