When my kids came home from school today they'll be happy to see a tray of almonds in the oven and the food processor out on the counter - they'll know that I must be making amlou. Amlou is a delicious and addicting nut spread made from ground toasted almonds, honey and Morocco's indigenous argan oil. It's not standard fare in most Moroccan homes - rather, it's a genuine treat due to the cost of argan oil.
A large mortar and pestle is used in rural areas to grind the almonds to a paste, but a meat grinder or food processor will be much easier to use in a modern home kitchen. If using a processor, be sure to allow the almonds to process until they're paste-like in consistency. To facilitate this, I pick up my machine and shake it while the almonds are grinding. This loosens the packed, powdery nuts from the side of the processor bowl and keeps them in contact with the blade. Once the almonds are processed, only a very low speed should be used to gradually blend in the argan oil and honey. Too high of a speed will yield a cloudy, rather than glossy, amlou. See my Amlou Recipe for the easy instructions.
Photo © Christine Benlafquih