Almond pastry cream crisis.

I'm making a fruit tart recipe from Bouchon Bakery, which calls for almond pastry cream made with almond flour. I used Bob's Red Mill Finely Ground Almond Meal/Flour and my pastry cream has a "mealy" consistency. I've now made it twice today--very expensively--and even sifting the almond meal/flour several times, the second batch is as mealy as the first. Need some help!

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Monita
Monita August 20, 2013

You could try putting the almond flour in a food processor to process it even more finely and then sift it

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HalfPint
HalfPint August 20, 2013

Sounds like you need a more finely ground almond flour/meal. I would recommend grinding the meal that you currently have in the food processor until it's almost paste/butter. Or use almond paste in place of the meal, which might be another recipe altogether. Personally, I like a little texture in my almond cream. It kind of reassures me that they used real almonds instead of extract or flavoring.

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boulangere
boulangere August 20, 2013

Your dilemma is one of simple chemistry. Almond "flour" isn't a true flour, as in wheat, corn, etc., so it isn't going to behave like corn starch, for example, in pastry cream. Attempting to grind it more finely will often result in it turning into a paste (though if you add a couple of tablespoons of sugar, you'll have a bit more leeway - but only a bit), and it isn't especially siftable like a true flour. If you can accept its intrinsic mealiness and find the flavor of your pastry cream good, consider it a success!

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Chocolate Be
Chocolate Be August 20, 2013

Many thanks to Monita, Halfpint and Cynthia for the good advice and comments. I now have 4 cups (!) of almond pastry cream and intend to use them all in my tarts. I've never gone wrong with a Thomas Keller recipe yet, and I'm sure the plum tart will be a hit, whether or not the pastry cream has a little texture.

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Kukla
Kukla August 20, 2013

To make Almond Pastry Cream you need to cook a classic Pastry Cream and then blend in Almond Paste and Pure Almond Extract or make a homemade Almond Paste by stirring almond flour with egg whites until it is very smooth.

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