Sunday, August 7, 2011

Key Lime Cannoli

A pause from cucumber blogging. My friend Amy was intrigued by the blueberry cannoli, and since we had plans for a dinner date at my house, I decided to make some for her. Being fatigued of blueberry, I made a different flavor. Key lime. Hooray for key lime.
  I know, another recipe with a heavy citrus slant. I have no financial interest in citrus groves, honest

Key Lime Cannoli (makes 4-6 regular cannoli or up to 12 mini cannoli)
  • 16 oz ricotta cheese (you should know by now--don't use fat free)
  • 1/4 C key lime juice
  • 1/4 C-1/3 C confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  •  zest of 1 lime
  • 6 premade cannoli shells 
1. Drain any liquid off the top of the ricotta, place in bowl, and begin whisking with a fork.
2. Slowly incorporate the sifted confectioner's sugar. Keep whisking! Incorporate a lot of air into the mixture.
3. Add the lime juice, zest and vanilla extract.
4. Continue whisking until mixture is somewhat fluffy and all the lumps from the ricotta are gone.
5. Taste, add additional sugar, lime, or vanilla as needed.
6. Gently spoon the filling in the cannoli shells. A small rubber spatula works nicely.
7. Enjoy!

Kitchen Notes: This recipe has more fluid than my previous cannoli post, so it will likely require additional time with whisking. Heed my previous warning not to whisk with a whisk (let's see how many times I can incorporate the word "whisk" into this post) but with a fork. In my photo, you'll notice that I've sprinkled unsweetened, flaked coconut on the cannoli which is a nice complementary flavor. If your feeling bold, I invite you to make the rather bizarre sauce that I concocted, you can see it drizzled on the plate above. I took about a cup of Rose's sweetened lime juice and reduced it on medium-low heat for 20 mins. It's super-sour, and packs an interesting dimension of flavor into the recipe. Flavor develops over a few hours, so if you're not serving right away, let the mixture sit in the fridge and fill the shells just before serving. This time I used Alessi brand mini cannoli shells, in my previous post I used Bellino brand. I prefer the size of the Alessi mini-cannoli, however I find that the Bellino brand has a lighter, flakier, less processed taste. My supermarket does not stock key limes, but stocks key lime juice in little squeeze bottles.

Verdict? I love key lime, and I find that cannoli are ideal for taking favorite desserts and experimenting with them in a different manner. The flavor is subtle, but works great since it's such a texture heavy dish, the juxtaposition of the smooth filling and the crispy, crunchy shell. It's also wicked easy to make, and doesn't require heating up the oven on a hot day.

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