Sicilian Cannoli

Sicilian Cannoli


I remember the cannoli my grandmother used to make and I am so very grateful that I have her “handwritten recipe” for this iconic Sicilian sweet treat.

I use stainless steel pastry tubes (which can be purchased on Amazon), my grandmother’s were made out of wood. My grandfather made them from a broom handle, which I later learned is the Sicilian way.

The crisp tube-shaped pastry shell, filled with a luscious sweet ricotta filling, dusted in confectioner’s sugar, with chopped pistachios adorning each end, is a delicious memory with every bite! A wonderful Easter treat!


Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons candied citron  or (candied lemon peel)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pistachios, chopped for garnish
  • Confectioners sugar, dusting on top
  1. In a large bowl, beat ricotta for a minute
  2. Add confectioner’s sugar, beat until light and creamy (about 5 minutes).
  3. Chop the candied peel, add to the ricotta mixture along with the cinnamon.
  4. Stir in the chocolate pieces (if you use chocolate chips, cut into quarters). Mix thoroughly. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Cannoli Shell Ingredients:

  • 4 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cups Italian red wine
  • 1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
  • Olive oil, for frying
  1. Sift flour, sugar and cinnamon together on a bread board or table top. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour wine into it. Using your hands, knead dough until smooth and stiff, about 15 minutes. If dough seems moist and sticky add flour. If it is too dry, add more wine
  2. Cover dough, let stand 2 hours in a cool place.
  3. Roll to paper thinness on lightly floured board. Cut into 5-inch circles and wrap each circle around a cannoli form (6-inch long by 1-inch in diameter). Fold dough around form loosely so that 1/4-inch of the form protrudes at either end. Seal dough by brushing with egg yolk and pressing closed where dough overlaps. This prevents the cannoli shell from opening when cooking.
  4. Using a candy thermometer, fry cannoli one or two at a time in hot oil (350*) for 1 minute or until golden brown on all sides. The surface of the shell will form bubbles so lift out gently with a slotted spoon or tongs and drain on paper towels to cool. Carefully, remove tubes. Repeat with remaining shells.
  5. The unfilled fried shells will keep for about 6 weeks in a cool dry place. The uncooked dough will keep in the refrigerator two-three days. Filled cannoli should be served immediately.
  6. Using a teaspoon, fill the shell with cannoli filling, garnish with pistachios on each end and shower the whole cannoli with confectioners sugar.
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