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I've become a bit obsessed with making macarons and have actually managed to make them come out nicely, so I'm looking to take them to the next level and start using different nuts from almonds.

When I tried to grind up pistachios (or hazelnuts) into a fine powder they become more of a paste (i'm presuming due to the fact that they are more moist), and was wondering if there were any tips for grinding nuts into an extremely fine powder without them becoming a paste?


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Since some time has passed since you originally asked the question, may I ask what worked out best for you? – Eric Hu Apr 11 '12 at 9:08
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I have had some luck with other oily nuts by grinding them down into semi-large pieces, and then letting them dry out on a flat cookie sheet. Then, step-wise, grind iteratively, with dry steps in between. If you can do this one time with a lot of product, you can save some in an air tight container for next time.

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When you say grind, is this with a food processor / pestle and mortar or something else? – Dibstar Aug 27 '10 at 15:37
I have used a food processor. A mortar and pestle may be something to try as well. – nicorellius Aug 27 '10 at 16:15
A food processor + hazelnuts = hazelnut butter, end of story. The best you're gonna achieve is bad hazelnut butter, i.e. grainy and clumpy. Like I said a year and a half ago, if you want nut flour, you need to use the proper tool: a nut grinder. – Marti Apr 24 '12 at 20:46

The more liquid texture is a result of the oils in the nut being released as it is crushed. To avoid releasing the oil, start with cold nuts and shred or grate rather than crushing. Any kind of blunt trauma will squeeze the oil from the nut, making it gloppy. Keeping the nuts cold will cause the oil to solidify, keeping the final product fluffy.

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This makes me wonder if it would actually be useful to freeze them. Pretty much anything frozen will "shatter" rather than "crush", which is exactly what's desired here. But I haven't tried it... – Aaronut Aug 27 '10 at 17:04
I will give freezing / cooling them a go - sounds like a simple but effective solution! – Dibstar Aug 31 '10 at 11:12

I would suggest investing in a proper nut grinder. Despite the name, these actually grate, rather than grind, the nuts, and thus give you the flour-like texture you want in a pretty foolproof way. In a pinch, a hand-held rotary cheese grater can be used, but your hands will get pretty tired.

nut grinder cheese grater

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When grinding almonds I first blanch them in hot water, then spread out thinly on a baking tray & allow them to dry out in the oven at 90 C for at least 30 minutes. When they are completely cold they can be finely ground to a flour & used for making marzipan. This is the only way I have found to make it successfully. I make marzipan in 1kg quantities for my Easter Simnel cake & also for making marzipan figures.

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Have you successfully done this with pistachios as well as almonds? – Erica Mar 13 '15 at 14:46

I think you should remove the oil from pistachio. Actually I'm trying to make pistachio macaron. And I have Kirkland salted pistachio. If I grind it straight from the packet then it'll become pistachio paste which I definitely don't want. So I'm trying to remove excessive oil from it. To do it I have to boil the pistachio few minutes then dry it in the oven. I'll give it a try. If it works then I'll write about the outcome ok?

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