How to Blanch Almonds

Blanched almonds come in handy.
Learn how to roast almonds.

Having blanched almonds on hand in your kitchen opens your cabinets up to a whole world of recipes, both savory and sweet. On the savory side, sprinkle toasted blanched almonds over salads or stews, blend them into a classic Spanish gazpacho, or mash with herbs into an almond pesto sauce. On the sweet side there are literally hundreds of classic European desserts that incorporate blanched almonds into the recipe, including French macaroons, marzipan, and frangipane tarts.

Instructions for Blanching Almonds

Now that you have an idea of what a key ingredient blanched almonds can be in your kitchen, it is time to learn how to perfectly execute this culinary task. Before you get started make certain you have a few pieces of equipment on hand:

  • A medium saucepan
  • Long-handled wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula
  • Strainer
  • Two or three large kitchen towels

Also remember that blanched almonds keep well in the freezer so, if you have the space, blanch a few pounds at a time.

Basic Blanched Almond Recipe

  1. Purchase the highest quality skin-on almonds you can find. Ideally look for organic almonds at your local natural foods store.
  2. Depending on how many almonds you are blanching fill a small or medium saucepan approximately half full of water.
  3. Bring the water to a full rolling boil.
  4. Gently slide the almonds into the boiling water, making sure that the almonds stay submerged.
  5. Boil skin-on almonds for about 30 seconds, any longer and the almonds will cook and lose their crispness.
  6. Drain the almonds in the sink with a strainer, run cold water over them, and spread them in a single layer on the kitchen towels. Pat dry
  7. Once the almonds are warm to the touch, grasp a single almond between your thumb and forefinger, pinch with medium pressure to slide the skin off the nut
  8. Place the skinned almonds on a separate kitchen towel. Once they are all skinned pat them completely dry and then seal in a plastic zip-top bag and keep in the freezer or refrigerator until use.

Alternative Blanched Almond Recipe

Here is another alternative recipe that is just as simple and will produce similar results.

  1. Put the almonds into a large bowl.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan three-quarters full with water and bring to a rolling boil.
  3. Pour the boiling water over the almonds until they are submerged.
  4. Let the almonds sit for one minute, but no longer.
  5. Drain the almonds in the sink with a strainer, rinse them with cold water and spread them in a single layer on the kitchen towels. Pat dry.
  6. Once the almonds are warm to the touch, grasp a single almond between your thumb and forefinger, pinch with medium pressure to slide the skin off the nut.
  7. Place the skinned almonds on a separate kitchen towel. Once they are all skinned pat them completely dry and then seal in a plastic zip-top bag and keep in the freezer or refrigerator until use.

Toasting Blanched Almonds

One of the simplest and most flavorful things to do with blanched almonds is to lightly toast them. It is an easy task, but take care to not over-toast the nuts. Due to the oil in the almonds, they will turn very quickly from toasted to burnt if you are not careful.

To toast:

  • Pour one tablespoon of olive or canola oil in a shallow frying pan, swirl to coat the bottom of the pan with the oil.
  • Add a single layer of blanched almonds to the pan, for about 10 minutes, or until the almonds are fragrant and toasty, move the nuts around in the pan with a wooden spoon or heat-resistant spatula.
  • Sprinkle with kosher salt and serve as a wonderful snack.

Blanching Almonds Is a Simple Skill That Pays Off

If you learn how to blanch almonds, you can purchase the less expensive skin-on almonds and save yourself some of your hard-earned money. You'll likely find yourself putting this wonderful culinary skill to good use in a variety of recipes for years to come.

How to Blanch Almonds