Cannolis are probably my favorite dessert. Here in the South you don’t find cannolis in a lot of places, so it is pretty exciting when you can find them. And if you love cannolis it is fun to try to learn how to make them. Particularly when the holidays are upon us, I am all about the cannolis. What is a holiday dinner with no dessert, and no cannolis!?
It just doesn’t get much better than the delicious crusty fried pastry shell filled with sweet and creamy ricotta cheese filling with hints of orange, vanilla, and cinnamon. The texture is just so amazing when you bite through that hard shell and it just all collapses into the creamy filling and you get that perfect bite of crunch and cream.
Well here is another way to enjoy cannoli. So decadent and sinful and easy to whip up an amazing batch of cannoli cream and put it into a delicious pie crust for a different take on the cannoli. The cannoli cream is so good it can seriously be devoured with just a bowl and a spoon. I’d actually be happy with that! But put the spoon down long enough and you can put it all together into an amazing and memorable pie.
I love my cannolis to have special add ins, such as semi-sweet chocolate chips, salted caramel or whipped cream. So here I decided to put all on the pie to make an overwhelmingly delicious and sweet dessert. You can make the crust yourself, with the recipe given here, or go the easy route and just buy the pie crust at the grocery. And this recipe is no bake, it’s so simple and easy peasy to be the hit of your holiday celebration. Who doesn’t love the ease of no-bake? Dig in, you won’t be disappointed!
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese
- Or just buy a pie crust at the store.
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese, whole not skim
- ¼ cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup confectioner's sugar
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, cut into small cubes
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Use a hand held mixer to beat the ingredients together. Once the ingredients are well combined, place into a buttered pie pan. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides for the desired thickness.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before filling.
- Soften the cream cheese, cut into several small pieces and add to a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until smooth.
- Add the mascarpone, vanilla, heavy cream, ricotta, confectioner's sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest. Continue to beat with the mixer until well mixed and uniform.
- Fold one half of the chocolate chips into the batter, reserve the rest.
- Combine the heavy cream and sugar in a large bowl.
- Use a hand held mixer to beat the cream and sugar until the desired consistency is attained, stiff peaks should form after sufficient beating.
- Gently begin heating the sugar in a large sauce pan over low to medium heat. Stir occasionally so the sugar heats evenly. Keep stirring when the sugar begins to clump. The sugar will eventually melt into an amber brown liquid. Be gentle, don't burn the sugar!
- Now stir in the butter. Using a whisk keep the sugar and butter stirring until they combine. The butter should melt but not obviously separate.
- Now, the sort of hard part. You need to add the cream. Because the cream is cooler than the sugar and butter, it will have several effects on the mix. First, it might make the mixture splatter and bubble up. Second, it might make the mixture harden without the cream being incorporated. That's not what you want obviously. The caramel should be pourable when finished. If it has hardened without the cream being incorporated, try again. This takes some practice to get right, so don't be discouraged if it doesn't work on your first attempts.
- Pour the cannoli cream into the pie crust. Smooth out the cream as much as possible. Let it chill for a few hours and then add a layer of the whipped cream over the top. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips and drizzle on the caramel.