Cannoli with candied citrus peel
Possibly the best use of ricotta cheese is in scratch-made cannoli. Since ricotta is the bulk of the filling in these Sicilian pastries, this is a case where homemade ricotta cheese makes a world of difference. If you opt for purchased ricotta, purée it in a food processor until very smooth before using. Although homemade ricotta makes these cannoli shine, a shatteringly crisp shell can’t be overlooked.
FOR THE SHELLS, PULSE:
FOR THE FILLING, PULSE:
Tip on Cannoli shell:
To get crisp and blistered shells you need to roll the dough quite thin. It will want to spring back while rolling, but your patience will be rewarded in the end with your first bite into these one-of-a-kind pastries that are truly a labor of love.
For the shells, pulse flour, granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor. Whisk together ⅓ cup Marsala and olive oil; add to processor and pulse until mixture forms a dough. Knead dough just until smooth; wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at least 1 hour.
Roll dough on a lightly floured surface into a 10–11-inch round, ¼–⅛-inch thick, and no longer springs back. (Dough may need to rest 15–30 minutes, covered with plastic wrap.)
Cut rounds using a 3-inch round cutter; roll each to a 4½-inch round, 1/16-inch thick, and no longer springs back. (Dough may need to rest 30 minutes, covered with plastic wrap.)
Loosely wrap each dough round around a 5½×¾-inch metal cannoli form, sealing with egg white. Gently stretch ends of dough to flair outward. (Make sure dough is not stuck to the form before frying.)
Heat vegetable oil in a large pot filled two-thirds full to 375°.
Fry cannoli shells, two at a time, until golden and crisp, 45 seconds–1 minute. (Watch to make sure the shells do not slide off the forms while frying.)
Drain shells on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Carefully slide shells off forms; cool completely.
For the filling, pulse ¾ cup powdered sugar, orange peel, and lemon peel in a food processor until peel is minced.
Beat ricotta, powdered sugar mixture, and 1 Tbsp. Marsala with a mixer until fluffy; stir in ¼ cup chocolate curls. Transfer filling to a piping bag fitted with a wide tip.
Pipe filling in one end of each shell to its center, then fill the remainder of the way from the other end. Garnish one end of each cannoli with chocolate curls or pistachios, then sprinkle tops with powdered sugar. (If not serving cannoli immediately, store shells up to 1 day in an airtight container at room temperature. Wait to pipe filling into shells until just before serving.)
To yield the specified number of cannoli, cut dough once it no longer springs back after rolling.
So the shells are super crisp and blistered on the outside, be sure to roll the rounds 1/16-inch thick.
When sealing the dough with egg white, make sure you don’t get any on the form or shells won’t release.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 25mg 8%
Sodium 84mg 3%
Carbs 26g 8%
Fiber 1g 4%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.