CANNOLI Canna in Italian is Cane in English. Italians used to use various cylindrical materials to wrap the dough. Cane was popular, hence the term Cannoli (from the cane).Cane wasn't available for the immigrants, but old broom handles were. Some have been in families for generations and are used in place of the more modern aluminum tubes because it is claimed the wooden sticks are seasoned with the ages of flavors from Christmases and Easter Sundays past. If you have the cannoli aluminum tubes ,they are recommended.¬
Shells
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter¬
1 teaspoon sugar¬
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white wine¬
Vegetable oil for frying shells
Confectioners sugar for dusting¬
To make cannoli shells, you first need to make sure you have something to shape them around.Cannoli tubes are made of a very light cookie-cutter type tin and are about 7 inches long and 1 1/8 inches in diameter.
Combine the flour,butter, sugar and salt, gradually adding the wine and blending well. Knead the dough until a rather hard paste is formed.
Cut the dough in half and roll each half into a thin sheet , about 1/8 inch thick.Cut into 4 inch squares, and wrap each square around the cannoli form diagonally overlapping the two points.Seal the points with a little dab of egg white.¬ Meanwhile heat some vegetable oil in a large deep frying pan.
Drop a few tubes at a time into the hot oil and fry the shells on all sides until they are golden brown.¬
Transfer them to paper towerls to drain and cool, then gently remove the shells from their tubes. Repeat procedure until all the shells are made.¬
Filling
1 1/2 pounds ricotta cheese¬
1 cup confectioners sugar¬
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon¬
1/4 teaspoon vanilla¬
Whip all the ingredients until smooth and creamy.Chill the filling , then place it in a large pastry bag.
Be sure to fill the cannoli just before serving - any sooner will make the shells soggy.If desired, dip the ends in chopped nuts, chocolate or citron. These are not eaten at breakfast. They are meant to be served as dessert with a hot cup of Anisette flavored coffee.