Just thinking about cannolis makes my mouth water, they are one of my all time favorite desserts. Here’s a recipe my mother has used for at least 30 years and always with great result.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons shortening (Crisco)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup dry Marsala
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- 1 quart olive oil
- 2 pounds ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped and assorted glaceed fruit*
- tablespoons finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
- A few drops heavy cream, as needed to soften the cheese
* glaceed fruit – Smoothly coated with icing or crystals of sugar
I’ve heard of people using broom handles to make cannoli, I think it’s easier if you buy the metal cannoli tubes which are five inches long by about one inch in diameter.
Place the flour on a board or pastry marble, make a well and add the salt, shortening and sugar. Add a little wine and start mixing as you would for pie dough. The amount of wine you use will depend upon the flour absorption. Use as much as the dough will take. Keep mixing until you ahve a soft ball that is not crumbly. Kneed the dough for about seven to eight minutes until it is slightly glossy.
Cover the dough and set aside for an hour. Do not refrigerate unless you intend to use it the next day. In this case be sure to bring to room temperature before working.
Cut the dough into two pieces, roll each out as thin as possible. Cut four inch rounds with a cookie cutter or four inch squares with a knife. Wrap each piece of dough around a cannoli tube. Overlap the two edges and seal with a little beaten egg. Preheat the oil to 375. Drop prepared tubes two at a time, the cook quick in under a minute so don’t turn away! Fry tubes until golden brown, remove with tongs and drain on paper towel.
Wait ten seconds to drain then pick up (with tongs, they’ll be hot!) and with a thick kitchen towel,, carefully grasp the cannoli and pull the tube out. Stack the cannoli shells on a dish and repeat process until you’ve used all the dough.
Cannoli shells freeze beautifully so you can make a bunch when you have time and then freeze. Just be sure to wrap them tightly. They can also be stored in a refrigerator for 10 days if you don’t want to fill them right away.
Mix the ricotta, sugar, fruit and chocolate using just enough cream to make it soft but not runny. Just before serving, pipe the filling into the cannoli shells. Decorate the ends with bits of pistachio, cherry or chocolate. Place the filled cannolis in cupcake wrappers so they won’t roll around and sprinkle liberally with confectioners sugar. They are best eaten by hand! If you’ve done everything right, they’ll be light as a feather, flaky and melt-in-your-mouth!!