Make a statement: Cannoli di Ricotta

Make a statement: Cannoli di Ricotta

Cannoli di Ricotta

Essteele has selected three elegant Italian dishes created by three world-famous chefs. From seafood to sweets, be inspired by these traditional yet beautifully simple recipes including a classic antipasto, a hearty main course, and this showstopping dessert.

From chef, writer, restaurateur and media personality, Mario Batali comes this iconic Sicilian dessert.


Deep-fat thermometer,

4-inch diameter round cookie cutter,

6 (roughly 5 5/8-by-5/8-inch) metal cannoli tubes

Saucepan for deep frying. Essteele suggests either the Per Vita cookware range


For dough

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes

8 tablespoons limoncello or other lemon or orange liqueur

For filling

1 pound (2 cups) fresh sheep’s- or cow’s-milk ricotta, drained 1 hour in cheesecloth-lined sieve

3/4 cup superfine sugar

1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips

4 tablespoons candied orange peel, chopped, or finely grated zest of 2 oranges

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To fry and serve

About 8 cups vegetable oil

1 egg white, lightly beaten

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)


Make dough

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon. Using fingertips or a pastry blender, blend in butter just until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. (Alternatively, pulse in food processor.) Drizzle limoncello over mixture and gently stir with a fork until incorporated.

Turn out the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. (Dough will still look somewhat dry and crumbly.) Gather together into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Make filling

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together ricotta, sugar, chocolate chips, orange peel, and vanilla. Spoon mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip and refrigerate until ready to use. (Filling can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated, covered.)

Form, fry, and fill shells

Cut dough into 4 even pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 piece to 1/8-inch thick. Using a floured cookie cutter, cut out 2 to 3 rounds from the dough. Transfer rounds to a baking sheet and keep covered with plastic wrap. Roll out remaining dough and cut rounds in same manner, then gather scraps, roll out, and cut again.

Fill a heavy 3-5 litre pot with oil to depth of 3 inches. Heat over moderate heat until thermometer registers 375°F.

Meanwhile, brush the bottom edge of 1 dough round with egg white. Wrap dough around 1 cannoli tube with egg white-brushed end overlapping other end and gently press edges together to seal. Make 5 more shells in the same manner. (Keep remaining rounds covered with plastic.)

Working in 2 batches, fry formed shells in hot oil until deep golden brown, about 1 minute.

Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool for 5 minutes. Stand tubes upright and tap gently against countertop to loosen shells. Twist moulds to remove shells.

Wrap remaining dough around tubes and fry in the same manner. (Shells may be made 1 day ahead and stored at room temperature, unfilled and uncovered.)

When ready to serve, pipe filling into 1 end of cannoli shell, filling shell halfway, then pipe into other end. Repeat to fill remaining shells.

Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve immediately.

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