Six inch aluminum tubes are usually used to make the shells but I imagine you can improvise with well-scrubbed (3/4 inch diameter) dowels. Have fun.
INGREDIENTS (for 1 servings):
- 3 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 1/4 cups white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped candied citron
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons shortening
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts
- 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration
- 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
To Make Filling: Combine ricotta cheese, 1 1/4 cups white sugar, and 2 teaspoons vanilla until smooth and creamy. Stir in candied citron and semi-sweet chocolate pieces. Refrigerate to chill.
To Make Shells: Sift together into a bowl 3 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until pieces are the size of small peas. Stir in 2 beaten eggs. Blend in the white vinegar and the cold water one tablespoon at a time.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Wrap in waxed paper and chill in refrigerator for half an hour.
From cardboard, cut an oval pattern measuring 6 x 4 1/2 inches. Roll chilled dough 1/8 inch thick on floured surface. Using the cardboard pattern and a pastry cutter, cut ovals from dough. Wrap dough ovals loosely around tubes, just lapping over opposite edges. Seal edges by brushing with the slightly beaten egg white.
Set out a deep saucepan 1/2 to 2/3 full of vegetable oil or shortening and heat to 360 degrees F (180 degrees C). Fry only as many cannoli shells as will float uncrowded one layer deep. Fry about 8 minutes or until golden. Turn occasionally while frying.
Drain off excess fat before removing to absorbent paper. Cool slightly. Remove tubes. Cool shells completely.
When ready to serve, fill with chilled ricotta filling. Sprinkle ends of cannoli with chopped pistachio nuts and dust shells with confectioners' sugar. Keep cannoli filling refrigerated.
We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount may vary depending on cook time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.