Cannoli seems to be one of those things people are crazy for or don’t like at all. Count me among the former, and it is disappointing not to find it offered in many places. Thankfully, Boston’s North End is an exception.
As I sit here thinking about when I first developed a taste for cannoli, my mind goes blank. I suspect it was on a visit to Italy some years ago as that is where I usually get my fill. On a visit to Sicily which is known for cannoli, I took a class hoping to learn all the tricks that would allow me to make it at home.What I discovered is that it is a bit labor intensive but not impossible.
Fast forward. Recently, I had a hankering for cannoli but the little tubes for making the shells were not with me. What’s a gal to do? Since my favorite part of cannoli is the filling, I thought why not put it in a crust.
My favorite is a graham cracker crust, tasty, simple to prepare and requires only a few minutes in the oven. While it is baking, the cannoli filling, basically a mixture of ricotta and powdered sugar, can be prepared. No cooking is required for this step which is a real plus. Spooned into the cooled crust, topped with mini chocolate chips, fruit, nuts and sprinkled with powdered sugar, it is refrigerated until time to serve.
Though not officially cannoli, the end result simplifies preparation and takes the frustration out of getting the filling into pastry tubes without breaking them. Those who were lucky enough to share had no complaints which means fake cannoli will become one of my go to desserts!