Blanch the almonds 1 1/2 minutes in boiling water; drain. Plunge into cold water, then slip off the skins. Spread the almonds out on several thicknesses of paper toweling and pat dry. Transfer to fresh paper toweling and let dry 24 hours. Heat the oil in a 10-inch iron skillet over moderate heat about 2 minutes or until an almond, dropped into the oil, sizzles gently. Add half of the almonds to the oil and saute, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes over moderately low heat until the color of light caramel. Dump the almonds into a colander set over a heatproof bowl; shake to drain off as much oil as possible, then drain on paper toweling. Return the oil to the skillet and fry and drain the remaining almonds the same way. Sprinkle with salt and cayenne and toss well; store in an airtight canister. Note: the sauteeing oil can be used to dress vegetables or salads.
Recipe Courtesy of Jean Anderson