Get an authentic taste of Sicily with our delicious ricotta and pistachio cannoli. Roberta, our lovely head chef, has an undeniable sweet tooth and ever since she was a little girl, cannoli have been one of her favourite snacks. The crunchy pastry shell gives way to a creamy ricotta filling and we can think of few things more delectable. Often her nonna had to put the fresh cannoli out of the reach of Roberta's sticky fingers, or our unruly sfoglina might have finished off the lot before anyone else could tuck in! For this recipe, Roberta chooses the treasured oro-verde, or ‘green-gold’, pistachios - one of Sicily’s finest offerings.
Make Roberta’s Ricotta & Pistachio Cannoli
Prep Time: 1 hour 20 mins
Calories per serving: 334 kcal
For the shell:
- 150g plain flour
- 1tbsp caster sugar
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 30g butter, softened
- 1 egg, separate white from yolk
- 50ml dry marsala wine
- Sunflower oil for deep-frying
- Handful pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
- Icing sugar, to dust
For the filling:
- 250g ricotta cheese, drained and whipped until light and fluffy
- 100g mascarpone cheese
- 2tbsp icing sugar
You will also need cannoli moulds, which can easily be purchased online.
- Mix the flour, sugar and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl with a small pinch of salt. Add the butter and rub it into the dry ingredients until you have a smooth mixture.
- Mix the egg yolk and marsala wine together and add this to the bowl, then combine the ingredients and knead to a smooth dough. Wrap the dough and leave to rest in the fridge.
- Fill a fryer, wok or deep saucepan a third of the way up with sunflower oil. Heat the oil to about 180°C.
- Half your dough and, working one piece at a time, roll it out as thinly as you can.
- Lay the sheets of dough out on a clean, floured surface and cut out circles, about 11cm in diameter. Wrap each one around a cannoli mould to create cylinders of pastry, using some of the egg white to stick the edges together.
- Deep-fry the cannoli - with their moulds - one or two at a time. They should take about 45-60 seconds, becoming visibly golden brown and the dough will bubble and blister.
- Carefully take each one out of the oil using tongs and slide the cannoli off their moulds onto a piece of kitchen towel, patting off any excess oil.
- To prepare the filling, beat the ricotta and mascarpone together in a bowl and add the icing sugar.
- Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a wide nozzle and pipe a generous amount into each cannoli.
- Dust with the remaining icing sugar and sprinkle the pistachio crumb onto the filling at each end of the cannoli, and serve them fresh!
Chefs tip: If you want to make your cannoli even more delectable, you could dip the ends of the pastry shells in a little bit of melted dark chocolate. Allow the chocolate to harden before piping in the filling!
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