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Grinding nuts really fine


FoodMan
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Moderator Note: this was originally posted to the eGullet Q&A with Alton Brown.

What is the best way to grind nuts very fine say to make a French Macroon? I usually use the food processor and then pass through a sieve. I keep doing it till I have the fine ground nuts. However, this is VERY time consuming. Do you have a better way?

Thanks

Elie

Edited by Rachel Perlow (log)

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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You'd be better off buying and using almond flour Elie, that's what most pastry chefs use for macarons. If you try to grind nuts yourself--sometimes freezing the nuts first and then pulsing them in the cuisinart or robo-coupe helps, sometimes lightly toasting the nuts first helps, sometimes mixing some sugar in with the nuts and then grinding helps--it depends. I freeze and grind Sicilian pistachios into a fine bright green powder and buy almond flour (the kind that has had some of the almond oil pressed out of it.) There's no way to save time, i.e. eliminate sifting, when you try to grind yourself. You'll still get larger pieces and you'll still overheat the nuts if you grind with too heavy a hand.

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Yes - a coffee grinder. You can get a cheapie electric blade grinder at $15 - $20 if you shop around. I suggest reserving it for use with nuts and spices only. Coffee beans tend to leave an oily residue that might impart a noticeable taste to the nuts. Used grinders are often a great buy at garage sales - I just sold my old Waring for $2 last weekend and it still works great. Use Dawn Power Dissolver to remove the coffee oils and residue from a used coffee grinder before using it for nuts. Also wipe down with warm water and dry thoroughly after using the Dawn.

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