I had all the ingredients on hand, including almond paste, which I had recently purchased for another recipe. It had taken some searching to find the almond paste, and, as you know if you’ve ever bought it, it was quite expensive. In the process of hunting for it, I had come across a number of recipes for homemade almond paste. After paying nearly $6 for a small can of it, I decided making my own might not be such a bad idea.
The recipes I found mostly fell into two categories: paste made with a sugar syrup, or paste made with egg whites. I’m not at all squeamish about uncooked egg whites, but I did think the recipes made with sugar syrup might last longer, so I decided to try the following recipe:
10 oz dried blanched almonds
10 oz powdered sugar
5 oz granulated sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 cup water
Make a sugar syrup by placing the water, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan. Stir it to combine. Bring it to a boil and let it boil for a few moments. Let it cool.
Place the almonds in a food processor and process them to a fine powder. Add the powdered sugar. With the food processor running, slowly add the sugar syrup until the mixture forms a paste.
Store the almond paste tightly covered. If you will be storing it for more than a week, store in the refrigerator.
This recipe came together easily, at least until the end. Evidently, when the recipe says, “add the sugar syrup until the mixture forms a paste”, it means to add it just until it forms a paste. I added all the sugar syrup and ended up with something the consistency of tahini paste. Way too thin for almond paste, although the taste wasn’t bad.
I decided to go ahead and try one of the egg white versions to compare. Here’s the recipe I used:
- 1-1/2 cups blanched almonds
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Place almonds in a food processor; cover and process until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, egg white, extract and salt; cover and process until smooth.
- Divide almond paste into 1/2-cup portions; place in airtight containers. Refrigerate for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 3 months.
Yield: 1-1/2 cups.
This was also a quick and easy recipe, and the taste was far superior to the sugar syrup version, owing mostly to the almond extract and salt.
I had never used almond paste before, so I decided to open the can of paste to see how it compared to the homemade versions.
The taste and consistency of the egg white paste was closest to the canned version. I actually liked the homemade version better, as it had the most “almondy” flavor.
I remade the sugar syrup version, this time adding only enough syrup to get it to a similar consistency to the egg white version. I also added salt and almond extract to the recipe, which improved the flavor considerably.
At the end of the day, I prefer the egg white version over the other two. The canned is my second favorite, with the sugar syrup version landing up on the bottom of the list.
Since I can buy slivered blanched almonds at Mr. Bulky’s pretty inexpensively, and it’s really easy to mix up, I doubt that I’ll buy almond paste again.