Tag Archives: almonds

Almond Butter with Sea Salt

Seasoned to Taste - Almond Butter with Sea Salt

My mom got me this awesome cookbook from America’s Test Kitchens –  the DIY Cookbook, showing you how to make everything from your own Sriracha to Worcestershire sauce to candied ginger. I will soon be trying the bacon jam recipe, but before that I went for the almond butter, because I had been wanting to try making its sibling, peanut butter.

For something so expensive in the grocery store, the two-ingredient, two-step recipe seemed unbelievable. I guess I just assumed you added oil or sugar or SOMETHING else to get that great spreadable consistency.

On the contrary, all you need is nuts and salt, and the process of grinding the almonds  pulls all those rich oils out and blends the pieces into a smooth butter that sticks to the roof of your mouth. I added more salt than the recipe’s 1 teaspoon, because I liked the flakes of sea salt breaking through the rich butter. Bigger salt crystals always hit your tongue after a few chews, so they don’t overpower.

I have tested this recipe once, but feel it will be emerging again around the holidays – it’s a wonderful hostess gift or present, as it stores well and will impress your friends. I have consumed and given enough away that I already wish I had made a double batch.

Almond Butter with Sea Salt

Ingredients (makes 2 c.):

  • 4 c. almonds, whole
  • sea salt

Heat oven to 375. Spread almonds evenly on baking sheet and roast on middle rack until slightly darkened, 10-12 min. Let cool until just warm, 20 min.

Add almonds to food processor and blend, scraping down sides to help it along, about 7-10 min. total. Puree until the oils release and it becomes the consistency of peanut butter. Add 1 tsp salt and process. Taste for seasonings. Add more salt if you prefer.

I was concerned multiple times that mine was not coming together – you feel like you are grinding and grinding and it’s just a mess of crumbs. So I kept mixing the puree from the bottom to the top to distribute the pieces, and processed until finally, it started to become smooth. And became this:

Seasoned to Taste - Almond Butter with Sea Salt

Transfer to jars with tight lids. The almond butter can be stored in fridge for up to 2 months.

I have been snacking on crisp Gala apples dipped in my almond butter – just how I used to eat peanut butter as a child. It’s wonderful and such a healthy, filling snack for work.

Seasoned to Taste - Almond Butter with Sea Salt

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Peach and almond galette

Ah, another peach dish. Another Semi-Homemade dish. How did I get here? I always wanted to be more Ina Garten than Sandra Lee, but now look at me. I am one recipe away from cooking exclusively with cream of mushroom soup and a packet of dried onion flakes.

Almonds are an interesting nut to bake with. I only started appreciating them later in life, when I started making things like Julia’s poached-pear tart with the almond frangipane and this pear-almond cake with chocolate chunks. Something about that almost chocolatey roasted flavor plays well with sweet, soft fruits and buttery pastry.

This Bon Appetit dish is semi-homemade because it uses store-bought pie crust. However, making the almond crumble requires a food processor, which is decidedly not Semi-Homemade. It was WONDERFUL. Again, I love almonds with fruit. And these peaches performed beautifully. We had it with soft vanilla ice cream and it was perfection.

Peach and Almond Galette

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup almond paste
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (half of 15-ounce package)
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 1 1/2 pounds peaches, halved, pitted, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • Vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line large baking sheet with parchment (I obviously forgot the parchment, so used foil). Combine 1/4 cup almonds, almond paste, 5 tablespoons flour, sugar, and salt in processor until almonds are ground. Add butter; pulse until almond topping begins to clump together. Transfer topping to medium bowl.
If necessary, roll pastry to 11-inch round. Transfer to prepared sheet. Brush crust with some beaten egg. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup almond topping. Toss peaches with 1 tablespoon flour in large bowl. Add 1/3 cup topping; toss again. Spoon peaches onto crust, leaving 1 1/4-inch border and mounding in center. Sprinkle remaining topping over peaches.
Fold crust up at edges, pleating as needed. Brush crust edges with beaten egg. Bake galette until crust is golden brown, peaches are tender, and juices are bubbling thickly, about 50 minutes. Transfer galette on paper to rack to cool. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon almonds over. Cool completely. Cut into wedges and serve.

Don’t forget the ice cream! This is a relatively easy dish that you can whip up on a week night. Who needs a special occasion to cook elegant dishes?

Enjoy, friends! xoxo