While almond flour is easily available in stores, I always prefer making my own. The entire process is quite easy and I can ensure high quality as well as no contamination. A lot of times store-bought almond meal and almond flour tend to have traces of other flours that have gluten in them. This becomes problematic when dealing with clients suffering from celiac disease.
Home-made almond flour can be stored in the fridge for up to 6 months or in the freezer for longer. Almonds can of course be replaced by any other nut you prefer, the process is more or less the same. To make almond flour you will need the following equipment:
- One clean air tight container that can fit in your fridge / freezer
- A food processor
- A spatula / bowl scrapper
- A sifter
The night before soak your almonds in a bowl filled with water. This is done so as to be able to remove the skin easily. If you wish to leave the skin on you can do so, however then I would not recommend using the flour for items like Sable Cookies and Macaroons.
The next day drain the water and peel the almonds. Run them under cold water to remove any peeled skin that might still be stuck to them. Place them on a baking sheet lined with paper and dry them out at 90’c for a 2 hours. Alternatively you could leave them out to dry in a switched off oven over night. In a city like Mumbai (any place that receives lots of sun) air drying is good enough, you can leave them out by the window for a couple of hours and they will be good to go.
Once the peeled almonds are dry, start with putting only a handful at a time into the food processor. Pulse, don’t grind otherwise there’s a chance you might over do it. When overground the almonds will begin to leave oil which will make its consistency clumpy and not dry like we want it. I prefer mine a little grainy so that I have the flexibility to make it finer when required. Stop processing once you have achieved your desired consistency and use the spatula to empty it into the container.
If you are a novice in the kitchen, not too well versed with using a food processor or simply want to ensure your flour stays dry add a few sifted teaspoons of flour to the almonds when grinding them. I usually use wheat flour because I find it works the best, however potato flour is a great gluten free alternative which doesn’t alter the final taste or texture in any way.
This recipe works great with hazelnuts as well, which is my personal favourite. No matter what nut you choose to use, be sure to ensure the nuts are completely dry and thoroughly cleaned before pulsing. Before using it in a recipe make sure to give it another quick pulse along with icing sugar or flour if the recipe calls for it.