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Dec 11, 2008 06:42 PM

How do you toast almonds?

I am making individual carmelized pear trifles for a f riend and after topping with whipped cream, I am to garnish with toasted almonds. I did mine in a 325 oven and they are monochromatic. The entire dessert is monochromatic. I would like the sliced almonds to have toasted edges. I am also thinking I will garnish with a slice of fresh pear with skin on.

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  1. I put 'em on an shallow ungreased pan as a single layer in a preheated 350 degree oven on the lowest rack and shake them once in a while over a period of ten or fifteen minutes 'till they're slightly browned. I judge how done they are by the aroma more than the appearance. I figure I can always stick them back in to brown a little more but once they're burnt - it's all over with.
    I've used the broiler but it's a little riskier to prevent burning them using that method.

    3 Replies
    1. re: todao

      That is basically how I do them. What do yours look like? Should I try to toast the entire piece or just tinges?

      1. re: sarah galvin

        Mine usually come out of the oven with edges that are a bit browner than the rest of the nut, but only slightly, and the aroma is quite nutty and pleasant. I have found that fresh nuts toast better than those that have been bagged for a long time and are, by virtue of that factor, a bit dryer and perhaps lower in oil content.
        If you want to experiment, you might try giving them a VERY light spray of oil before roasting/toasting. Try a handful using that method and see if it helps.

        1. re: todao

          Thanks, I'm trying that very light spray of oil. Maybe I have old almonds. And yes, starlady, I think slivered would be better. I'm trying to use up what is on hand but I think I'll buy slivered next time.

    2. I toast them stove top. In a dry (ungreased) saute pan. they don't have to be in a single layer or anything, and that way you get some more toasty than others.
      Just let them sit at medium heat or just below until you can smell them start to toast, then just shake the pan all the time. I don't mean constantly, but since I'm usually dicing onion or something else while I'm right next to the stove it's - dice dice, shake pan, dice dice dice, shake pan, until desired doneness.

      Also wanted to say I usually use slivered almonds, not sliced so maybe it depends...not sure

      1 Reply
      1. re: starlady

        Slivered, whole, sliced, it makes no difference. All toast successfully in a dry skillet over medium-low to medium heat like Starlady describes. The higher the heat, the more carefully you have to watch them, but they all come out beautifully browned. No need to add additional oil.

        If you would rather toast them without having to pay close attention, spread them out on a low-sided roasting pan, like a jelly-roll pan or cookie sheet with sides, put in a preheated 350-degree oven, roast for 7 to 10 minutes, shake the pan vigorously to redistribute the nuts and hopefully overturn most of them and return to the oven for a few more minutes, until they're fragrant and reach the color you want.

      2. For quick and easy, in the microwave. I didn't believe it would work until I tried it.

        For adding color, what about some mint leaves and a few pomegranite seeds w/ the sliced pear? Not enough to add flavor, but just enough to add color.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chowser

          I am with you Chowser - toasting all nuts in the microwave makes it easy and fast and no extra oil (calories) added.

        2. You'll have to use UN-blanched, sliced almonds. The skin creates a lovely contrast, even when toasted. Most grocers carry them, and they look like this:

          1 Reply
          1. re: Channa

            Unblanched, of course! Thanks for that tidbit. I did spray lightly with oil and put in 350 oven. They toasted a little better. I think perhaps I was under toasting them before. These look fine but I like the unblanched idea for next time. I had considered pomegranate seeds but had not thought of mint leaves. I think the mint leaves would be nice. Any how, my friend picked them up this morning and was thrilled with them so I guess they are ok. We are our own worst critics. She is an interior designer, so perhaps she had a colour scheme in mind.