A thin shell of crispy, delicate pastry dough, fried to a golden perfection and then stuffed with a creamy ricotta filling is a Sicilian specialty. Cannoli can be found all over the island and enjoyed any time of the year.
Not feeling like making the shells and wanting a dessert to beat the Arizona heat, I came up with this recipe. The chocolate cookie crust takes the place of the chopped bittersweet chocolate I normally would add to the filling.
Sprinkling the top of the pie with pistachios produces the same delicious results as garnishing the ends of each ricotta-stuffed cannoli shell with the little green nuts. This pie has all the flavor of cannoli in every bite!
- 36 Chocolate cookie wafers, finely crushed
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 Cups whole milk ricotta
- 6 Tablespoons confectioners sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 Tablespoons candied citrus peel, finely chopped (lemon, orange or citron/use one or all three)
- 2 Pints vanilla ice cream, softened
- 2 Tablespoons pistachios, chopped
- Using a food processor, crush the chocolate wafers and transfer to a 9-inch freezer-proof (I use a glass Pyrex) pie dish. Add the melted butter and mix with a fork and then evenly press (I use my hands) into the bottom and up the sides of the dish. Set in the freezer to firm up while you make the filling.
- Using a hand mixer, beat the ricotta with the confectioners sugar for 2 minutes and then add the cinnamon and beat until smooth.
- Stir in the candied peel until mixed in.
- Fold in the softened ice cream and stir until thoroughly combined. Spoon into the pie dish and return to the freezer until firm.
- Before serving, remove from freezer 10 minutes or so (until the pie cuts easily). Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and slice into generous portions! Tastes best when it begins to soften.