Serve dusted with icing sugar for the perfect finishing touch. Photo / Babiche Martens

Lemon Ricotta Cannoli With Pistachio & Pine Nuts

These Italian-inspired treats can easily be made ahead of time for a fuss-free Christmas dessert

It is worth buying cannoli moulds to make the process of making the shell cases a pleasure not a chore. You only need four. They can be made two days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container. If you don’t have a piping bag, fold some baking paper into a cone shape and snip off the end.

Makes 24

3 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup caster sugar
50g cold butter, chopped
1 egg
1 egg yolk, save the white
½ cup sweet wine
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
Oil for frying

500g ricotta
½ cup icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp fine lemon zest
¼ cup finely chopped pistachios
¼ cup toasted pine nuts

1. Into a large bowl place the flour, cinnamon, sugar and butter. Rub the butter into the mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg, yolk, wine and vinegar. Using a fork, mix to form the dough. Knead for a few minutes, then wrap and place into the fridge for at least 1 hour.

2. Roll the pastry to 3mm thickness using either a pasta machine or rolling pin. Using a cutter or bowl cut the pastry into 15cm circles. Cut out all the circles before starting to cook.

3. Heat 3cm oil in a deep fat fryer or large pot to 190C.

4. Wrap pastry around the moulds, seal the edges with a little egg white. Cook the cannoli cases for 2 minutes. Remove from the oil and when cool enough remove from the moulds. Continue to cook the remainder.

5. For the filling, in a bowl combine the ricotta, icing sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and nuts. Using a spoon or piping bag, fill the cooled cases. Serve dusted with icing sugar and a few extra nuts.

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New Zealand Herald

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