The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Almond Butter

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LeadDog's picture
LeadDog

Almond Butter

The subject of Almond Butter came up in a post a few days ago and I thought I would explain how to make Almond Butter.  I made Almond Butter by the 10s of thousands of pounds when I was in the Almond business.  Hopefully that gave me some insight to how a person can make Almond Butter at home.  I used a large machine machine that works very much like a blender so I figure a blender would work just fine only make less at a time.  I looked at some of the information online about how to make Almond butter and was surprised at the errors in information that I saw.  Anyway here is what I did to make three pounds of Almond Butter.

1st I roasted 3 pounds of Almonds in the microwave 4.5 minutes.  Next time I think I'll roast them 5 minutes.  The almonds seemed to be a little bit under roasted.  After roasting the Almonds let them cool to room temperature.  To tell how well the roasting is break one of the nuts open.  The nut should be a light brown right to the center of the nut.  If the nut is under roasted the middle will still be white.  The skins on some of the nuts will split length ways and the two halves will separate in the middle.

Next fill your blender half way up with the nuts and turn it on.  My blender just made a paste out of the nuts and it stuck to the side of the blender.  The blades didn't have any thing to chop because of this.  I poured this meal/paste out into a bowl and let it cool over night.  The next morning I put the meal/paste back in the blender and I had Almond Butter in nothing flat.  The Almond Butter I made will pour right out of the blender.  I think that maybe I could have made Almond Butter the first round if the Almonds had been roasted a little bit more.

Variations:  You can make raw  Almond Butter just keep chopping it up in a blender and then dumping it into a bowl to let it cool before you put it in the blender again.  Sooner or latter the raw Almonds will turn to butter it just takes longer.  You can make Almond Butter with Blanched Almonds, Almond Pieces, and different varieties of Almonds.  When you have made your Almond Butter try it with some honey.  There are some people who like it with Mustard also.  To make a chunky butter just add some nuts at the end of the blender cycle and chop them up a little bit.

Here are a few things I saw on the internet that you don't have to do.  You don't have to add any oil.  It will make it faster and easier but isn't necessary.  You don't have to use blanched Almonds to make creamy Almond Butter.  The skins don't end up as fine grit if it is made right.  I have never store my Almond Butter in a fridge or had it go rancid.

Last of all you can make Nut Butters from all different kinds of nuts so start trying all the different kinds of nuts that you like.  Pistachios make a green butter. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, LeadDog.

It was surprising to see your topic, because I had just sat down to enter one myself on this topic. Thanks!

I make almond butter in smaller batches and with different hardware. From the way you describe the blender method, I'll stick with mine.

I pour 1 to 1-1/4 cups of dry roasted almonds in a Cuisinart with the metal blade. Turn on the machine for 90 seconds to get barely spreadable, very chunky almond butter. To get smoother butter, process it longer.

I could do more at a time. I've never wanted to. This lasts us a week or so. We mostly eat it for breafast.

It might well stick more to the blade and bowl if I made it smoother. As it is, it only sticks together when manually compacted. It is very homogeneous. Cleanup is a cinch.

Where were you in the almond business? I don't really know where else in the U.S. almonds are grown commercially, outside of the San Joaquin Valley.


David

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog

Hi David,

 I live in Paso Robles, Ca. This was once known as the Almond Capital of the world.  The orchards here couldn't compete with the irrigated orchards of the Central Valley so they are slowly vanishing.  99.9% of all the Almonds in the US are gown in Ca. and is the state's number one export crop.  

I really have never seen a Cuisinart up close in person but I figured it could do the same thing as a blender.  It will get to the consistency of pancake batter if you grind it smooth.  The butter will thicken up as it cools down.  This is the way I like it.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, LeadDog.

As near as I can tell, the Central Valley is likely to increase almond plantings because of the drought. Fruit and nut trees need less irrigation than cotton, for example, and orchards are more amenable to drip irrigation than crops where they essentially flood the fields.

I have a blender as well as a Cuisinart. The blender is superior for pureeing and liquifying. The Cuisinart is better for chopping. It is easier to clean up, too. It sounds like each of us uses the better of the two for the way we prefer our almond butter.

FYI, here's a link to the Cuisinart model I use:

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-DLC-8S-11-Cup-Custom-Processor/dp/B00004S9EJ/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1221190491&sr=8-2


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Hi leaddog & dsnyder,
When you roast the nuts in a microwave are you pouring them into a 4 cup Pyrex pitcher or some other bowl? I guess what I'm asking is do they need to be spread out or are you looking for just getting them hot? Is there some reason you don't spread them on a paper sheet and roast them in a low oven?

Sorry if this sounds basic I've never done this and it sounds interesting.

Eric 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Eric.

I've never tried using the microwave. If I have raw almonds, I would roast them spread out on a cookie sheet or other flat pan in a 350F oven for 12-20 minutes, depending on how dark you want them. I don't want them real dark, so I usually roast them for about 15 minutes.

Actually, I generally buy already dry roasted almonds.


David

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog

Eric I just use a shallow bowl to roast the Almonds in the microwave.  I only do it this way because it is fast and easy.  I have done tens of thousands in a convection oven on heavy black cookie sheets.

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

Interesting topic. I love nut butters, a lot. Except maybe peanut butter. And I like making my own a lot. I've used my Cuisinart up until now. So thank you LeadDog for the blender revelation. I'll be sure to try that next time.

David last time I roasted almonds for about 20 minutes at 350F, and after 4 minutes of being processed they still looked like almond meal, rather than butter. I'm rather puzzled how you guys get them to turn to butter that fast.

Rudy
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My TFL Blog Page

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog

Rudy just a guess that you roasted the Almonds to long.  To me 20 minutes seems to long for 350F.  You will notice I didn't get mine to turn to butter really fast and had to let them cool down over night and do a second run in the blender.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Rudy.

Try roasting at 350F for 12-15 minutes. I'm assuming your oven temp. is accurate.


David

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

just for the sake of asking what company did you work for?

The only one that comes to mind is american almont. which is were i bought my almond macaroon and kernal past from

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog

I guess this is a question for me.  The state of California has about 100 companies that are called Almond Handlers.  These companies sell Almonds into the trade channels.  The name of my company was Jardine Organic Ranch.  I sold Organic Almonds all over the world to different companies.

Marni's picture
Marni

I realise that this is an older post but I wanted to say thanks for the instructions.  I made this by roasting the almonds (next time I'll make them a little lighter) at 350 for about 15 minutes.  I used my food processor and it was very lumpy and barely held together so I let it rest for a few hours and TA DA!  I had lovely smooth, spreadable almond butter.  Wonderful!


I have hazelnuts and cashews in the house now so I might try them as well.  I wonder how any of these might be mixed together?  Hmmm...


Thanks again,


Marni

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Home made almond butter is a staple at our house. It's my breakfast on toast with home made jam 2 or 3 days every week.


You will find how long you have to process the almonds to get the consistency you like best. I find 90 seconds is the minimum, but I prefer longer. 


I have seen cashew butter but haven't made it at home. They are my wife's favorite snacking nut. We always travel with some home-dry roasted cashews for emergency rations.


Hazelnuts are my favorite snack, but I've never made or seen hazelnut butter. Hmmm ... Isn't that what's in Nutella?


David

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

yes, but beware: hazelnuts tend to turn into oil *very* quickly

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog

I'm glad you liked it.  I have changed my roasting of the almonds from the microwave to the oven.  Now I roast them in my oven for 17 minutes at 350°F.  When I was making almond butter is large quantities I also made many other kinds of butter.  Here is the list of the ones that I remember.  Almonds, Pistachios, Cashews, Macadamias, and Hazelnuts.  I never did make tahini but it was possible with the machine that I had.  One little trick that I like to do is when you have your creamy nut butter made add in little bits/nuggets of nuts to make a crunchy nut butter.

AmberA's picture
AmberA

Hi LeadDog,


I have a bunch of almond meal left over from making almond milk. I dehydrated half of it in the oven and ground it to make almond flour. Can I blend either of these with some oil to make almond butter, or do I have to start with whole almonds? I've tried both, but neither seem to be mixing very well in my blender (an off-brand version of the Magic Bullet, which works very well for most things--I don't own a food processor). The flour just stays floury, and the meal stays mealy!


Thanks!

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog

Yes I think a small amount of oil would help make Almond Butter.  I'm guessing that maybe your blender isn't strong enough to get the job done like the blender I used.