These cannoli were absolutely amazing! I made the given recipe for the cannoli shells, filled them with a pumpkin filling, and garnished the ends with chopped pecans. The dough was fairly easy to work with (though I definitely recommend using a pasta machine to roll it out!). Frying the dough was a bit fussy, but not too difficult. The filling, though, is really what made these cannoli shine to me. I made a pumpkin filling with homemade mascarpone and ricotta cheeses, and it was absoultely delicious! I had never made homemade cheese before, but I will definitely be doing it again. It's a big money saver since mascarpone in particular is always extremely pricey at the store. The flavor was also incredible. Especially with the fresh ricotta, it was almost like eating a different cheese than the ricotta available for purchase! Wow. I've pasted the cheese and filling recipes below, and the cannoli recipe and assembly instructions are available from Lisa.
I made the cannoli for a dinner party and they were a huge hit! These really are the perfect fall dessert. A friend of mine who's a New Yorker even said these are the best cannoli he'd ever had! That definitely made me happy...so thanks to our hostess for an awesome recipe! Be sure to check out all the other cannoli this month at The Daring Kitchen.
Homemade Mascarpone Cheese (from Baking Obsession)
Makes about 1/2 cup
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering. Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet. Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F. It will take about 15 minutes of delicate heating.
2. Add the lemon juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream curdles. Do not expect the same action as you see during ricotta cheese making. All that the whipping cream will do is become thicker, like a well-done crème anglaise. It will cover a back of your wooden spoon thickly. You will see just a few clear whey streaks when you stir.
3. Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface (be patient, it will firm up after refrigeration time). Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours.
Homemade Ricotta Cheese (from Parsley, Sage, Desserts, and Line Drives)
Makes about 1-1/4 cups
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. Line a large strainer or sieve with cheesecloth and place the strainer over a large bowl.
2. In a large pot or saucepan, bring the milk, cream, and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula.
3. Once the milk comes to a boil, add the lemon juice all at once. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring gently with a rubber spatula. The mixture will curdle immediately.
4. Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth lined strainer and let drain for an hour or two. Discard the liquid whey and refrigerate the ricotta or use immediately. If you want it really dry, wrap it back up with the cheesecloth, leave it in the strainer over the bowl, weight it down with something heavy, and refrigerate overnight.Pumpkin Filling
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Place the ricotta cheese and canned pumpkin in a cheesecloth-lined sieve set over a bowl. Fold the cheesecloth over the cheese and pumpkin and weight it down with a couple of cans. Place in the fridge for a few hours of overnight.
2. Place the ricotta and pumpkin in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the mascarpone and beat until the filling is smooth and creamy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla and blend until smooth. Chill until the filling firms up a bit and then fill cannoli.
Some of my personal favorites this month:
Cannoli with lemon goat cheese cream
Cannoli with peppermint-mascarpone filling
Gingerbread ice cream in cannoli cones
Gingerbread cannoli with creamy lemon filling
Chestnut, chocolate, and hazelnut cannoli
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