I'm dreaming about visiting almond orchards, pretty little cafès where I can enjoy my day-starter granita, then enjoy afternoons at the coast, visit the fish market, and a sheep farm to see how they make ricotta. Until I will have the chance and travel to Sicily then eat authentic cannoli, this Sicilian Cannoli With Ricotta Filling won't let me down, by the way, it was published in the August/September issue of the UK's TOP baking magazine, the Baking Heaven and at their website too.
This is not a traditional Sicilian recipe but represents many important ingredients that make the area famous.
Cannoli making is not a quick process, but after the first bite in the crispy shells, covered with cinnamon sugar, filled with chilled almond ricotta cream you will understand it is worth the time you invested in.
- 150 g flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 25 g lard or butter, melted
- 25 ml white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 35 ml white wine
- 500 m vegetable oil for deep frying
- 1 egg white for sealing
- 750 g fresh ricotta
- 125 g icing sugar
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 150 g sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 150 g melted dark chocolate
- 1 tsp oil
- 200 g pistachios, chopped
- Combine the flour, sugar, melted lard, vinegar, honey, and cinnamon.
- Add the white wine and mix it into a smooth dough by hand.
- Rest the dough for an hour in the fridge, wrapped into cling film. In the meantime prepare the ricotta filling.
- Roll the chilled dough out to get about a 3-4 mm thick disc. Use some flour when you turn the dough to do not make it stick to the surface. Use a small round cookie cutter and cut circles out of the dough.
- From now on I've found, that it's easier to continue on my countertop since it's harder than the rolling mat. So roll the dough circles to get as thin oval forms as you can roll, around 1 mm, or less.
- Wrap the thin dough discs around the cannoli moulds, seal the overlapping edges with an egg white brush! I've tried without it, it usually got unsealed, and didn't hold the tube shape, so I recommend using the egg white.
- Deep-fry them in hot oil till the cannoli tubes turn golden brown, then place them on a cooling rack.
- To remove the metal mould, just gently squeeze them, this way their diameter will be smaller and you can easily slide them out of the pastry tubes.
- Use your hand mixer to soften the ricotta.
- Add the almond extract.
- Gradually add the icing sugar till you get a medium-firm filling.
- Load it into a piping bag, choose the piping tip according to your preferences, then place it in the fridge till your cannoli shells are ready to fill.
- Mix the sugar and cinnamon and cover the pastry while it's still warm.
- Melt the chocolate above the steam, add the oil and dip the cannoli shells into the choc, and immediately dip them into chopped pistachios. Put them in the fridge for a few minutes until the chocolate sets.
- Fill the pretty shells with the chilled ricotta filling then they're ready to serve.