(c) 2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Easy Almond Paste is a homemade almond paste recipe that requires just four ingredients and a food processor. After trying this fresh, nutty almond paste, you'll never buy it from a store again.
Almond paste is a key ingredient in marzipan and many other European-style candies and pastries. It can be expensive to buy in stores, but it's easy to make at home. You will need blanched almonds (which you can blanch yourself following these instructions) and a large food processor for this recipe. If the raw egg white is a concern, you can use pasteurized egg whites found in a carton in grocery stores.
1 large egg white, lightly beaten, at room temperature
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
1. Place the whole blanched almonds and 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar in a large food processor (at least 7 cups in volume) fitted with a steel blade. Process the nuts and sugar until the nuts are very finely ground, stopping periodically to scrape the sides of the processor bowl. The sugar will help prevent the nuts from turning into almond butter, but still be careful about overprocessing.
2. Once the almonds are very finely ground, add the rest of the powdered sugar and pulse until it is completely mixed into the ground almonds.
3. Stop the processor and add the egg white and the almond extract, if using. Turn the processor back on and process the almond paste until it comes together in a clump in the food processor.
4. If it seems very sticky, add a little more powdered sugar, a spoonful at a time, until it is smooth.
5. You can use the almond paste at once or wrap it to use at a later date. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then store it in a zip-top bag. Wrapped this way, the almond paste can be kept for up to 3 months in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer. Make sure to bring the almond paste to room temperature before using it in recipes.