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Recipe: Cannoli

Ingredients

For the Shells:

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp shortening or lard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp finely ground sea salt
  • ¾ cup Marsala wine
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1½ quart vegetable oil
  • metal tubes or dowels (6 x ¾ inches, available from gourmet shops)

For the Filling:

  • 1 lb ricotta, strained in cheesecloth or coffee filter overnight
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely grated
  • 3 Tbsp chopped citron, optional
  • 2 Tbsp crème de cacao
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

For the Garnish:

  • 2 Tbsp ground raw pistachios
  • 2 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
  • Optional mini chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Make the Shells: combine the flour, shortening, honey, and salt in a medium bowl, wetting mixture gradually with Marsala wine. Knead with fingers until dough is firm. Shape into ball, cover with cloth and let stand one hour at room temperature. 
  2. Make the filling: combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Make the pastries: cut dough in half and roll into ¼-inch thick sheets. Cut the dough into 4-inch squares with a sharp knife. 
  4. Place metal tubes diagonally across squares. Wrap dough around each tube by overlapping the two opposite points. Seal points with beaten egg, pressing together with fingers.
  5. Heat the oil in large pot to 370°. Drop tubes carefully a few at a time into the hot oil. Fry on all sides until shells are a deep golden brown color. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Repeat with remaining tubes. Cool completely.
  6. Fill a pastry bag with cheese filling and pipe filling into ends of shells, or spoon into shell ends. Sprinkle with pistachios confectioner’s sugar, or chocolate chips before serving. Makes 12 servings.

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