Almond flour or almond meal refers to finely-ground almonds. It is usually made with blanched almonds, although it can include the skins. Almond flour is commonly used in pastry to give a nutty flavour.
Almond flour is made by finely grinding skin-on or blanched almonds to a fine powder, stopping before it turns into a paste (almond butter). This can be done at home by pulverizing raw almonds in a food processor, blender, or coffee/spice grinder, although it will not be as fine as commercially-produced products. Depending on the method used to grind it, the almond meal may need to be further sifted to remove coarser particles. Commercially-produced almond flours may press some of the oils out of the almonds before further processing to a fine texture.
Almond flour has a mild flavor and aroma. It has a relatively high fat content for a flour or meal and lacks gluten. The fat content makes almond flour prone to spoiling as the oils turn rancid—this can be slowed by storing almond meal in an airtight container in the freezer.
Almond meal is often used in baking, where it contributes moisture, fat, and protein to baked goods. Because it lacks gluten, it can be consumed by those with gluten sensitivities. In France, is used in macarons and frangipane.