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Cannoli Shells

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. chilled butter, cut in pieces
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine or use marsala
  • 1 egg white lightly beaten
  • oil for deep frying
  • Ricotta filling:
  • 2 lbs. ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla + 1 tsp.
  • 1/2 c. chopped candied citron
  • 1/2 c. candied orange peel
  • 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chopped
  • pistachio nuts chopped fine.
  • melted chocolate for dipping the ends in

Instructions

  1. To prepare pastry, sift the flour and salt and granulated sugar.  Mix this in your electric mixer. Add the beaten egg and butter. Mix to moisten the flour mixture. Add the wine, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough begins to cling together. Use hands to form dough into ball. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.
  2. Roll out half of the dough at a time on floured work surface to about 1 1/16" thick. I used my pasta attachment to my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and had it rolled paper thin in no time. Cut into 3 1/2" circles if using the small forms.
  3. Place the circles around the cannoli tube and wrap and overlay the ends, sealing edge with beaten egg white.
  4. Fry 4-5 shells at a time until golden brown in deep fryer heated to 350°. Remove from fat with tongs. Drain shells on paper towels about 5 seconds. Holding shell carefully, remove cannoli tube, protecting fingers with paper towels. Cool shells completely and either fill or freeze for later filling.
  5. To prepare ricotta filling, process cheese in a food processor until very smooth. Fold in powdered sugar and vanilla, then citron, orange peel and chocolate. Chill several hours or overnight.
  6. Place ricotta filling in pastry bag fitted with large plain tip and pipe into shells.
  7. For garnishing, I dipped the ends in melted chocolate before filling when dipped one end in chopped nuts and the other one in chocolate. Then I filled OR you can fill and then dip the ends of the filling into one of your toppings.  Sprinkle filled cannoli with powdered sugar.
  8. For the smoked salmon ones I just found one of my smoked salmon spread recipes (I used fresh grilled salmon) and filled those and put onions, chives and roe on the ends.