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Apr 15, 2012 06:50 PM

Help!... attempt at blanching almonds is a BUST. skins won't come off

I am attempting to blanch a pound of almonds. I have committed to making macarons for a charity event for Wednesday and wanted to get these almonds blanched because I truly can't find any place in Wichita to get almond flour and I didn't order it online earlier enough. I have never blanched before and I have tried 2 small batches and the skins just aren't coming off. It is like the skins won't shrivel up. The first batch I tried I put about 30 almonds in a bowl and poured some boiling water over them (enough to cover) and then waited exactly 63 seconds then put them in a mesh strainer and ran under cold water for a short bit, laid them out on a paper towel and started peeling. They would come off but they certainly weren't sliding off. I was having to use my fingernails to peel them off and it was taking forever. It was taking about 40 seconds a piece. Yes I was timing myself because I had a pound ahead of me and needed to know if this was going to work. lol

The second batch I read online to let them dry after putting onto the paper towel so I did and the skins didn't shrivel up and I can't get them peeled at all.

I've watched a couple videos online and read 3 tutorials on various blogs and they all act like it is a breeze. Anyone got any tips. I really don't want to make the almond flour with the skins on because I am making pink, green and yellow macarons and I don't think they will color well with the almond so dark. Am I wrong?



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  1. Try this on a small batch first.

    Put a bit of baking soda in water (maybe 1 teaspoon per cup). Bring it to a boil. Add almonds and you should immediately see the liquid turns brown/purple. Wait for 30 second to a minute -- difficult to say for sure which is why you should try on a small batch first. Now, drain and rinse with regular water.

    You should now able to rub off the skin very easy.

    If you blanch too short, then the skin won't come off.
    If you blanch too long, then you can impart some baking soda taste and make the almonds too soggy and will have to dry them.

    1. 63 seconds might not be long enough if your almonds aren't fresh. I would try another batch, 90 seconds, then 120 seconds, etc.

      When i do this and have found the right amount of time, I put the almonds on a dishtowel, roll it up , and then roll the bundle. This gets about 95% of the almonds peeled. And then I do what you are doing.

      Good luck!

      3 Replies
      1. re: smtucker

        Chemicalkinetics, thanks so much. I just tried that and soaking them for 60 seconds still took a little longer than I expected, so tried it for 3 min and they peeled a lot easier but not great. I think I got some stubborn almonds. It took 21 sec each so it is still a lot of time. LOL Who would have thought. At least the baking soda helps a lot. Thanks!

        1. re: HighHeels

          :) I keep the baking soda water boiling while the almonds were in there.

          Sometime I like to lean a bit on the shorter time because I always have the chance to put them back in. It is more difficult to correct overcooking. Good luck.

          1. re: HighHeels

            Thx for the tip, I re-soaked for 3 min and it worked like a charm, i got my almonds from Walgreens so they too were a little stubborn to come off. I then roasted in the oven a bit, Happy Cooking! Making a chocolate almond cake!

        2. Why blanch at all? Soak them overnight, peel and dry them out in the oven (15 min at 350)

          1 Reply
          1. re: meatnveg

            Great idea, I think I will try some like that. I had heard that I had to blanch them in the boiling water to get them to peel so I will try that. If I can't get them peeled, than at least I love soaked almonds as snacks so I will be happy either way. Thanks

          2. OK, the pound is peeled and drying now. Minus the ones I ate. lol
            I ended up microwaving them in a small bowl for a minute or 2 and would take them out a few at a time to peel while watching tv. They just popped right off. Such a difference. Drying them in the oven is a great idea. I'm so happy. Now I just hope the macarons turn out perfect. I get so nervous when doing something to be auctioned off for charity. Wish me luck and thanks for the tips everyone!

            1. I have found if I use organic almonds all I have to do is soak them in water overnight. Pinch the almond and they fly right out of the skin. Non organic-the same method does not work.