Recipe by Sarah Phillips and Kelly Hong; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 2012 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
We use a pasta roller, instead f a rolling pin, to help us achieve a thin pastry dough; it's much easier and quicker. We fold the dough as you would a letter before processing it through the roller to help insure that the resulting cannoli has flakier layers and has a nice crunch when fried. It works really well.
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
8 - 12 cannoli tubes for frying the pastry shells; they are 1-inch in diameter and about 5 to 6-inch long. If you are using for the first time, fry them briefly in oil heated to 375-degrees F measured with a Deep-Fry Thermometer to season them. Let cool and wipe with paper towels before using.
2 jelly roll pans lined with paper towels for draining the fried shells
4-inch round cookie cutter
Deep-Fat Fry Thermometer
NOTE: Dough can be made 1 day before frying shells and chilled. Let dough stand at room temperature 1 hour before rolling.
7. Then, pass one-third of the dough, at a time, through widest setting on the pasta roller. Set the other 2 pieces aside, lightly covered with plastic wrap until needed.
8. Fold the rolled dough in thirds and pass it through again from the open side.
NOTE: Fold the dough as you would a letter!
9. Repeat until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer shreds as you are putting it through the machine.
NOTE: You may think that the dough will never come together, but keep on putting it through the machine and it will eventually become smooth and silky.
9. Fold dough in thirds again, wrap it in plastic wrap, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
8. After all of the pieces of dough have been processed, refrigerate for an hour, or as long as overnight before continuing.
1. Remove one piece of dough at a time from the refrigerator. Unwrap and flour the piece.
2. Pass it through the open end of the pasta machine.
3. Decrease the size of the opening by 2 notches and pass through again, flouring the dough as necessary so it won't stick.
NOTE: Not all pasta machines are alike. For example, my pasta machine has #1-#6. I used the #1 setting for the first roll, #3 the second time, and ended with #5.
4. Pass the dough through every other setting ending with the next-to-last one on the pasta machine, until 1/16-inch thick.
Place the strip of dough on a lightly floured work surface and cover it loosely with plastic wrap.
5. Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces of dough.
8. Lightly oil the cannoli tubes.
Using a small brush, moisten about 1/2-inch of the top edge with egg white, taking care not to get any on the metal tube, otherwise the fried pastry will stick.
9. Draw the outer edge of the dough disk up to meet the first one and overlap them slightly, and press the dough firmly together with your fingertips.
Repeat with as many disks of dough as you have remaining cannoli tubes; set aside and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
NOTE: Make sure you press down firmly on the seal, or the shell may pop open during frying.
Working with 3 or 4 cannoli at a time, fry until deep golden brown color and crisp, taking about 1–2 minutes.
NOTE: Alternatively, you can use a 3-quart pot and fry two shells at a time.
NOTE: When you remove the cannoli shells from the hot oil, make sure to remember to tip the tube to allow the oil in the tube to drain back into the pan.
If necessary, use an oven mitt to grasp the end of the tube and use a towel or several thicknesses of paper towel in the other hand to gently twist the shell off the tube.
Make sure to let the tube cool thoroughly before wrapping more dough around it.
The fried and unfilled cannoli shells will keep for 1 to 2 days at room temperature, loosely covered with plastic wrap.
STEP III: MAKE THE FILLING AND FILL. SERVE.
NOTE: While the shells are cooling, make the filling. It can also be made the night before and refrigerated.
1. Place the drained ricotta in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on lowest speed for 30 seconds.
The filling is perishable and must be kept refrigerated.
Fill shells only a few hours before serving and refrigerate; they will become soften soggy if filled sooner.
4. Garnish each end by sprinkling chopped pistachios on the filling at the ends of the shells.
5. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Serve immediately or refrigerate only a few hours.
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