This recipe comes courtesy of Marcia Friedman, who writes the blog Meatballs and Matzah Balls. For a Thanksgivukkah dessert, many people might turn to the traditional Hanukkah dessert of sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts). But Friedman believes Sicilian cannoli (“pipes”) perfectly represent a Jewish-Italian Hanukkah dessert. They combine a fried pastry shell (the oil part of Hanukkah food traditions) with a luscious creamy ricotta filling (a nod to some Hanukkah traditions of serving cheese). Fold some pumpkin into the filling and you've got Thanksgiving covered as well.
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 7½ tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting finished cannoli
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg plus additional for dusting (freshly grated if possible)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/3 cup plus ½ tablespoon canned pumpkin
- ¾ cup pecans, toasted and chopped (optional)
- 12 regular-sized or 30 miniature cannoli shells*
Beat the whipping cream with an electric mixer on high speed until it holds stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the ricotta on high speed for 1 minute. Add the whipped cream, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg, allspice and ginger to the ricotta, and beat on medium-high speed 1 to 2 minutes, until very smooth and slightly fluffy. Beat in the pumpkin for another 30 to 60 seconds. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 6 hours.
Just before serving, use a small spoon to fill the shells with the filling. Dust the shells with confectioners’ sugar and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Sprinkle the ends with chopped pecans if desired. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for not more than 1 hour before serving -- they'll get soggy.
*Cannoli shells can be found in large grocery stores or Italian markets, and can be ordered online.