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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cannoli with Homemade Ricotta!!

Cannoli are awesome. And I've been wanting to make them for a while now, but didn't know where to start. Cannoli shells involve making a dough, rolling it very thin (through a pasta maker?), shaping them on special dowels, and then deep frying them. I don't have a pasta maker, the special dowels, or a deep fryer, so, I decided to buy the shells pre-made (gasp). I was serving them to friends and was embarrassed that I didn't make the shells myself, so I decided to make fresh ricotta for the filling to make up for it.

HOMEMADE RICOTTA IS AMAZING. End of story. I will never ever (in theory) buy ricotta at the store again. Especially since its 4 ingredients and takes 10 minutes to make. It is so rich and made the world of difference in the cannoli filling, would be amazing in lasagna, and wonderful on a piece of toast drizzled with olive oil.

Homemade Ricotta 
6 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Heat the milk, cream, and salt in a large pot until the temperature reaches 190 degrees- you don't want the milk to boil. Stir occasionally, to keep the milk from scalding on the bottom. Once heated, remove from stove and add the lemon juice. Stir just once or twice, slowly, then let the mixture sit untouched for 5 minutes.

Pour into a colander lined with a few layers of cheesecloth set over a large bowl. The mixture will separate and the whey will drip into the bowl- discard the whey (you might have to do this a few times while draining). Let sit in the colander for an hour and a half or so (I think I left mine almost 2). Remove the ricotta from the cheesecloth and put in an airtight container in the refrigerator for later use. This recipe will yield a generous 2 cups of ricotta.

Cannoli Filling
1.5-2 cups fresh ricotta
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Using an electric mixer beat the refrigerated ricotta and powdered sugar until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the vanilla and blend until mixed. Scoop into a piping pastry bag with a 1/2 inch tip. Pipe into prepared cannoli shells*, starting in the middle and working out on either side. Serve immediately. DROOL. Plan to make another batch of ricotta tomorrow.

* I dipped my shells in melted chocolate then covered them with chocolate sprinkles and colored sugars. Mini chocolate chips would work nicely, as well.

1 comment:

  1. This is not ricotta. Ricotta is made from the leftover whey after making cheese.