Cannoli Siciliani Or Sicilian Cannoli
Siciliani is one of my favorite desserts, right up there with
cheesecake. When I was a kid, Mamma would make cannoli during the
Christmas and Easter holidays, and was always served after
Christmas dinner and Easter Dinner, that was it. Once in a great
while, other than Christmas and Easter, if we pleaded and begged, she
would make them, but that was very seldom.
year I actually managed, somehow, to talk Mamma into making cannoli
for Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner. I was so happy, you'd thought
I won the lottery.
Cannoli Siciliani Or Sicilian Cannoli
Cannoli originated in Palermo, Sicily in Piana degli Albanesi and are a staple of Sicilian cuisine. In Italy, they are commonly known as cannoli siciliani.
- "...the king of Carnival is the cannolo, which in its plural form, cannoli, is now part of the American language...To be good, cannoli have to be very fresh (the best coffee houses and bars in Palermo offer cannoli espress--filled while you wait), so if you are a cannoli fan and you can get good ricotta, it is worth the effort to make them at home."
-Pomp and Sustentance: Twenty-Five Centuries of Sicilian Food, Mary Taylor Simeti [ECCO Press:Hopewell NJ] 1989 (p. 164) - Food Timeline
Cannoli Siciliani The King Of Carnival
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt, cinnamon, and cocoa. Pass the flour mixture through a fine sieve.
Work the butter pieces into the flour with your fingers until the mixture becomes coarse and sandy.
Add the egg and work into the flour mixture. Add the marsala wine and mix until it becomes a smooth dough.
Roll one piece onto a flat surface with a rolling pin to a 1/16-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut 4-inch circles from the dough.
Wrap each oval lengthwise around the cannoli form. Seal the edges with egg whites.
Continue until you have four cannoli shells ready to go. Place them in the fryer basket and submerge in the hot oil.
When the shells are done remove them and rest until cool enough to handle, then carefully slide it off the mold.
In a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta until smooth. Stir in the sugar and vanilla.
Cannoli Siciliani With Sweetened Ricotta
Pastry bag and tip number 804.
- Deep fryer
- Cannoli forms
- Pastry bag fitted with tip number 804
- Yield: about 24 cannoli
- Prep time: 1-1/2 hours
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
For The Cannoli Shells
- 2-1/4 cups / 300 grams all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoon / 30 grams granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon / 3 grams kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon / 1 gram cinnamon
- 1-1/2 teaspoons / 3 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoon / 45 grams unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup dry marsala wine
- Flour to roll dough
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 2 quarts peanut oil, for frying
For The Canolli Filling
- 1 pound sheep or cow's milk ricotta, drained 1 hour in a cheesecloth-lined conical sieve, see recipe
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup superfine sugar, to taste - see notes
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon shaved chocolate, 80% bittersweet, optional - see notes
- Zest from 1/2 lemon, optional - see notes
- Powdered sugar, for dusting, optional
- 1/4 cup / 30 grams pistachio nuts, toasted and chopped, optional
For The Cannoli Dough
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt, cinnamon, and cocoa. Pass the flour mixture through a fine sieve.
- Work the butter pieces into the flour with your fingers until the mixture becomes coarse and sandy.
- Add the egg and work into the flour mixture. Add the marsala wine and mix until it becomes a smooth dough.
- Spread a piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface and place the dough in the center. Wrap the dough in plastic and place in the fridge for 30-minutes while you make the filling.
For The Canolli Filling
- In a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta until smooth. Stir in the sugar and vanilla.
- If you want to use the chocolate and lemon, add the chocolate and the lemon zest. Mix well to incorporate.
- Spoon into a pastry bag with an open tip and place in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for a half hour to an hour.
Rolling And Frying The Cannoli Shells
- Fill the deep fryer according to the level indicated on your deep fryer. Set the temperature to 350 degrees F / 175 degrees C.
- Meanwhile, lightly dust a work surface with flour. Flour a rolling pin. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide into 4 pieces, keeping the unused dough covered.
- Roll one piece onto a flat surface with a rolling pin to a 1/16-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut 4-inch circles from the dough. Using the rolling pin, roll each circle into an oval and wrap each oval lengthwise around a metal form, sealing the edges with egg whites. Flare the edges open with fingers. Flaring will allow the oil to penetrate each cannoli shell as they fry.
- Place four cannoli shells in the deep fryer basket and submerge and fry the shell in the oil until crispy, about 2 minutes.
- Remove from the oil, and rest on a paper towel lined plate until the shells are cool enough to handle. Holding the mold in one hand with a kitchen towel, gently grip the shell in your other hand and carefully slide it off the mold.
- Set aside to completely cool. Repeat until all of the dough is used.
Filling The Cannoli
- Just before serving, use the pastry bag to pipe the ricotta into the cannoli shells.
- Fill the cannoli shells from both ends so the cream runs through the whole shell.
- Dip each end of the cannoli into the pistachios and dust with powdered sugar, as you like. Serve immediately.
- Make and fry the shells and make the filling. Don't fill the shells with the cream until you are ready to serve them. Everyone loves a crispy cannoli.
- To shave chocolate run a peeler along the sides of the chocolate bar. It will come off in little shavings.
- If you don't have a deep fryer, you can deep fry in a saucepan set over a burner. Just be certain to use a deep fry thermometer. Use a pair of tongs to hold the edge of the mold as you submerge and fry the shell in the oil until crispy, about 2 minutes.
- If you don't have a pastry bag, you can use a zip-lock plastic bag. Fill the bag half full, squeeze out the excess air, and seal the bag. Work the filling into the bottom half of the bag and snip one of the corners off the bag. You can pipe the filling that way.
- Superfine sugar is also called baker's sugar or caster sugar. Alternatively you can grind granulated sugar to a powder in an electric spice mill.
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