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I recently blanched and peeled the "skin" off 500g of shelled pistachios and 500g of almonds.

For the pistachios I poured boiling water over them, waited a minute, strained, and then rubbed the nuts in small batches in a clean cloth to pull the skin off.

For the almonds, I tried the same strategy as the pistachios. But this was not so good. The skin starts to dry too quickly. So I poured more lukewarm water over them.

Then I dried them in an oven preheated to 150C for about 10 minutes. They are still a but soft, so I may have to do this again later.

My question is, is there a better way? That took a really long time.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You're missing an important step here: You need to use cold water immediately after the boiling water in order to halt the cooking process.

  1. Boil them for about 1 minute, then drain. (You can pour boiling water over them, as in the case of almonds - it doesn't really matter how you do this.)

  2. Submerge or rinse in cold water, to prevent any further cooking and softening;

  3. Peel them.

For the case of almonds, you should not rub them in order to peel. Just pinch the end - they should pop right out of their peels. If you find it taking any more effort than this, stop, don't waste any more time on peeling, and just blanch them again. If you've blanched them long enough, peeling will be very easy.

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Yeah, almonds are the easiest nut to blanch. Try cleaning a pound of hazelnuts sometime. (Although the baking soda method does make it easier.) –  Marti Jan 29 '11 at 18:03
    
Hm. When I did my quick google search I never came across step 2. Fortunately they taste alright still and I was going to blend them up. Thanks. –  Megasaur Jan 29 '11 at 21:59

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