Regardless of what you might think, cannoli, the famous Sicilian pastry with sweet ricotta has Arabic origins. In fact, historians have found that cannoli were first made in the Harem of Qalc’at al-Nissa (Caltanissetta). The story is quite funny as the concubines created a phallic homage to their husband, the Saracen emir.

Originally, cannoli were prepared only for the Carnevale season, but over time they quickly became so popular that they became available all year round.

Ingredients

FOR THE FILLING:

 (16-oz.) container ricotta 1/2 c. 

mascarpone cheese1/2 c. 

powdered sugar, divided 1 c. 

heavy cream 1 tsp. 

pure vanilla extract1 tsp. 

orange zest1/4 tsp. 

kosher salt1/2 c. 

mini chocolate chips, for garnish

FOR THE SHELLS:

2 c.  all-purpose flour, plus more for surface1/4 c. 

granulated sugar1 tsp. 

kosher salt1/2 tsp. 

cinnamon4 tbsp. 

cold butter, cut into cubes6 tbsp. 

white wine1 

large egg1 

egg white, for brushing

Vegetable oil, for frying 

DIRECTIONS

FILLING:

  1.  Drain the ricotta by placing it a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Let drain in a refrigerator for at least an hour and up to overnight. 
  2. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat heavy cream and 1/4 cup powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. 
  3. In another large bowl, combine ricotta, mascarpone, the remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar, vanilla, orange zest, and salt. Fold in whipped cream. Refrigerate until ready to fill cannoli, at least 1 hour.

SHELLS:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. With your hands, cut the butter into the flour mixture or pastry cutter until pea-sized. Add wine and egg and mix until a dough forms. Knead a few times in a bowl to help the dough come together. Then, pat into a flat circle, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight. 
  2. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough in half. Roll one half out to ⅛” thick. Use a 4” circle cookie cutter to cut out dough. Repeat with remaining dough. Re-roll scraps to cut a few extra circles. 
  3. Wrap dough around cannoli moulds and brush egg whites where the dough will meet to seal together. 

FRYING:

  1. In a pot over medium heat, heat about 2″ of oil to 360°. Slowly add cannoli moulds to oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden. Then, remove from oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool slightly. 
  2. When cool, gently remove twist shells off of moulds. 
  3. Place filling in a pastry bag. Pipe filling into shells, then dip ends in mini chocolate chips. 

There you go! Now you know how to make the true Sicilian cannoli!

Buon appetito!

If you wish to learn how to make cannoli or other delicious Sicilian recipes during your stay at Baroque Apartments, make sure to email us after your booking!

  • Read our other Sicilian Taste recipes here

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