Sicilian Cannoli

Sicilian Cannoli

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Not only do these little Italian pastries look and taste delicious, but this cannoli recipe stays true to the classic version, right down to the mixed peel and chocolate pieces in the filling and the finish of chopped pistachios on top. You won't be able to resist these! Best if you use tubular cannoli moulds.


Makes: 20 Cannoli

  • Filling
  • 1kg sheep's milk ricotta cheese
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 60g mixed peel
  • 40g plain chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • Cannoli Shells
  • 150g plain flour
  • 15g butter
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons vinegar
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons dry Marsala wine
  • corn oil, for frying
  • To Assemble
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • 20g chopped pistachios

Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:10min  ›  Extra time:3hours  ›  Ready in:3hours40min 

  1. Filling: Place the ricotta into a large bowl, then beat in the icing sugar until well combined. Stir in mixed peel and chocolate pieces. Chill the filling in the fridge for about 3 hours.
  2. Cannoli Shells: Mix together all cannoli ingredients, except for the corn oil, to form a dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the cannoli dough until smooth, then roll out to 3-4mm thick. Cut out 20 squares, about 10x10cm each. Wrap each square around metal tubular moulds and overlap two edges of the square, sealing together with warm water.
  4. Heat a large saucepan of oil over medium high heat. Once hot, fry the cannoli shells on the tubes in batches for about 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove from oil and place on paper towel to drain. Cool just long enough so that you can handle the tubes, then carefully twist the tube to remove the shell. Set the shells aside to cool completely.
  5. To Assemble: No more than an hour before serving, use a piping bag or spoon to fill the cooled cannoli shells with the prepared filling. Set the cannoli on a serving platter and sprinkle with pistachios and icing sugar.


You can replace sheep's milk ricotta with the more typical cow's milk version. The flavour will be less intense but your cannoli will still be tasty.
Fill the cannoli just before serving, or the shells will get soggy. You can make the filling and shells well in advance, just keep them separated till serving. The shells can be stored for weeks in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

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