How to Make Your Own Almond Paste

Okay, to be honest, it never occurred to me to even wonder if I could make my own almond paste. I have always just bought the seven-pound cans of almond paste and carefully divided it into 1 pound lumps. Almond paste lasts a long time in the fridge and even longer in the freezer, so I’ve never actually had an Almond Paste Emergency. Until this year.

For those of you who are wondering what almond paste is, let me explain. Almond paste is the critical ingredient in a much-loved Dutch pastry called banket. Almond paste differs from marzipan in that almond paste has less sugar and tends to be stiffer in texture. Sometimes you can buy almond paste in the baking aisle of your local grocery store, but it is prohibitively expensive to buy that way. For years, my grandma bought me 7-pound cans from the California Almond Growers Assoc. in central California. Sadly, Grandma is no longer here and no longer buys me almond paste.

Almond paste isn’t hard to find if you live in western Michigan or the Central Valley of California, but anywhere else? Forget it. Dutch women may think they control the banket cartel, but they’re in trouble if they don’t have a reliable source of almond paste.

After asking, “Where can I buy almond paste…cheap?” for a long time, I realized that I needed to ask a different question. I need to ask, “How can I MAKE almond paste….cheap?” So I asked that question.

Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this recipe put out by the California Almond Board itself. It’s easy and, to my great surprise, is just like commercial almond paste!

Almond Paste

  • 1  1/2  cups (8 oz.) whole blanched almonds*
  • 1  1/2  cups (5oz.) sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/8  tsp. salt

Grind whole blanched almonds in a food processor. Add powdered sugar, egg white, almond extract and salt; work to a stiff paste. Store in refrigerator or freezer tightly wrapped in saran or disposable plastic bag.

Makes 1 1/3 cups (13 oz.) almond paste.

* Note on blanched almonds: it’s very important that the almonds you use in this recipe are blanched. You don’t want the brown skins in the almond paste. Unfortunately, the cheapest way to buy almonds is at Sams Club or Costco and those bags are unblanched. To blanch almonds yourself is easy. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the almond into the boiling water and let them boil for 2 or 3 minutes. Then strain the boiling water off the almond and dump them into a bowl of cold water. In a couple of minutes, you’ll be able to slide the skins right off the almonds. Let the blanched almonds dry a little before you make almond paste with them.

Another great recipe that calls for almond paste is Auntie Shirl’s Almond Bars. These almond bars have all the buttery almond sweetness of banket and are considerably less work. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t just love these bars.

Barb

 

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  1. So have you made anything with this yet? Does it taste the same? I feel like this is opening the door to a whole new world here, I can’t wait to try it!

  2. Pingback: A Dutch almond pastry called Banket « My Sister’s Kitchen

  3. I made this last week for Julie and it turned out just perfect. It was much easier than I expected. Thanks for the instructions.
    Joan

  4. I have a recipe for gebakje’s (mocha too!) I can’t find the person on this site that was looking for it, but if anyone wants it, please email me.

  5. I made the banket for Thanksgiving and they turned out GREAT! Then I made them today and they spilled out all over my pan & made a mess. Did I roll the dough too thin so the filling forced it’s way through? I tried to make a double batch today; maybe that’s the problem.

    It seemed like it took longer for the dough to form a ball while I was mixing it.
    Also, the filling was lighter than last time

    Any ideas?

  6. Pingback: Banket Reminder, #18 « My Sister’s Kitchen

  7. Today I tried the almond paste from scratch, using ingredients I could find here in Singapore. It was quite simple! Started with 200 g of slivered almonds that I put into the coffee mill – they turned to powder very quickly! This was about 1 1/2 cups in volume, so added it to an equal amount of powdered sugar (called ‘icing sugar’ here). Mixing by hand I added the egg white and almond extract. From what I can tell, it looks just like mom’s.
    Be careful when you come across ‘marzipan’ – in British cookbooks it’s synonymous with ‘almond paste’. But they’re different in American recipes.
    Also – if anyone is going the route of boiling/blanching their own raw almonds – it may help to lightly roast them in a pan, afterwards. In this part of the world, most people do this with nuts/spices to really bring out the flavor – it works! And it will dry out the almonds after blanching. If you grind up your almonds when they still have a high moisture content – it may affect your paste consistency.
    Thanks for your recipe! Will let you know how the pastry goes tomorrow.

  8. I made this Banket last Christmas, and everyone loved it. I am making it again for this Christmas.
    My former in-laws came over from Holland too.
    I love the Dutch pastries we used to get in Whitensville, Massachusetts.
    Thank you for this recipe, April Jorritsma (Amiro)

  9. I realize that this post is a bit on the old side in the blogging world, but….THANK YOU! I live in TX and have never been able to find almond paste. I’ve had to rely on my northern relatives for banket & all our other Dutch almond delights. :-) I’m really excited to try this asap!

  10. I made this yesterday and it turned out great… thanks for posting it. Your directions were perfect! In fact it was so effortless, I made a second batch to keep in the freezer for “emergencies”! :)

  11. Pingback: Dutch almond pastry Banket: what NOT to do | My Sister's Kitchen

  12. Pingback: Dutch Almond Pastry Banket Bites | My Sister's Kitchen

  13. I would assume that one could use any type nut for this paste and I am dying to try it. Thank you for posting the recipe…

  14. I would like to try your recipe for almond paste, but I don’t understand it. It calls for 1 1/2 cups of blanched almonds and it says (8 ox). But 1 1/2 cups = 12 oz. Also, it calls for
    1 1/2 cups of sifted powdered sugar, but it says that’s 5 oz. But, again, 1 1/2 cups equals 12 oz. Would you please clarify for me. Thank you. Marlene

    • I am just reading your comment and I don’t know if it was ever answered but 1 1/2 cups is only 12 oz. when you are talking about liquids – solids are all different depending on what it is. 1 cup of powdered sugar is lighter and weighs less than 1 cup of almonds.

      • Tami, those are weights, not liquid measurements. If you have a kitchen scale, go with the weights. If you don’t, that was how those ingredients measured out for me when I weighed them.
        Barb

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  16. I was unable to access the link to the recipe for Aunt Shirl’s Almond Bars (above). Could you please forward it to me? I am experimenting to develop a gluten-free version of the Danish almond pastries that I used to purchase from an Amish bakery in Tipton, MO. Although I’m not aspiring to such endeavors for a gluten-free version, the pastries from the Amish bakery were shaped like letters, supposedly to help children learn the alphabet. It seems like that approach would foster slow-learners! ;-)

    • Hi Vickie,

      I just fixed the link for you. I’m not sure what the problem was but it should work now. I did make the almond bars in a gluten free version but i can’t remember what I did. I”ll go back and see if I can recreate it when I have some time.

      Barb

  17. Pingback: Almond Cake with Marie’s Pan and Bridget’s Recipe | Vanilla Bean Baker

  18. Is the amount of paste made from this recipe enough for the banket recipe? Also, are the imperial measurements correct? I’m from England, and work easier in ounces than cups.
    Thank you

  19. You can also get real almond paste in areas where there are Italian immigrants i.e. NY, NJ, CT, RI. Italian delis and even grocery stores like Stop & Shop sell it in 1 lb or 2 lb blocks or tubs at the deli area.

    Solo in the cans is available in some grocery stores but I think it has more sugar, that’s what an Italian American baker told me.

    Dying at the expensive prices in the Houston area and the limited availability ($1 an ounce for one with additives and glucose syrup).

  20. I purchased blanched almond meal from Calif http://www.goldalmonds.com/ – $4.60/lb for 5 pounds plus an extremely fair shipping charge (can’t quote exact amt because I purchased other items too). It arrived yesterday and I immediately turned 1 lb into paste – EXCELLENT. Thanks so much for the recipe. I made 3 batches of your banket for Christmas using Bob’s Red Mill ground almonds ($8.50/lb) for the paste, the ones from Golds are the same – just much cheaper. Now I’ll be making more in the shape of a “4” for my great-niece’s birthday next month.

  21. I know this post is old but are you sure about the ounce conversions? I weighed out 4 ounces of almond and it measured in at a scant 1 cup! I decided to go with the 8 ounce weigh with 5 ounces of powdered sugar which eye balling sifted looked to be 1.5 cups. I wish I could taste to know if it’s the right ratio but I’m too scared with the raw egg! It looks and feels like the right consistency!

    • It’s probably fine. The actual texture of this homemade almond paste does vary depending on the nuts you use, but it should work. You can always add extra almonds if you feel that it’s not thick enough. I use a good quality of egg like Egglands Best for this and I feel confidant enough in the freshness to take a taste. Remember that the real test is how it bakes up.

  22. It’s an Italian tradition to make Pignolli cookies especially for the Holidays, but so expensive. Making my own almond paste with greatly keep the cost down!

  23. Pingback: Banket – Dutch Pastry with Almond Filling |

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