2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces Mascarpone cheese
3 ½ cups confectioner sugar (reserve 1/2 cup for dusting)
¾ cup can pumpkin
2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
12 cannoli shells


Step 1: Place ricotta into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat for 2-3 minutes until fluffy.
Step 2: Add Mascarpone cheese and continue beating on medium high speed until cheeses are blended together
Step 3: Carefully add confectioners’ sugar and blend well
Step 4: Add vanilla extract, pumpkin, and pie spice to cannoli filling and continue beating until mixture is smooth
Step 5: Place a pastry bag fitted with a Wilton 6B tip into a large bar glass with tip end flipped upwards, resting on the bottom of the glass, and bag ends folded down over the sides of the glass
Step 6: Using a spatula fill pastry bag with pumpkin ricotta cannoli filling
Step 7: Fold each side of pastry bag in toward the center of bag and fold down top edges
Step 8: Carefully lift bag from glass and twist bag pushing filling toward the tip
Step 9: Place tip into one side of shell as close to the middle as possible and gently apply pressure to the bag to fill shell with Cannoli filling
Step 10: Arrange filled cannoli shells on a serving platter and dust with reserved confectioners’ sugar.


Recipe courtesy of Felicia (Ciaramitaro) Mohan, 2011.

Felicia Ciarmitaro Mohan readily admits that her namesake and grandmother Felicia would not approve of this recipe. She taught her how to make her first cannoli and using pumpkin as a flavoring ingredient would never be considered when making authentic and traditional cannoli from Sicily. But times change and today Felicia has taken the knowledge that has been passed down to her and is not afraid to innovate. This pumpkin cannoli is one example of her innovation.

Felicia insists that in spite of what her Grandmother would think the results in terms of taste are perfectly wonderful. Making cannoli is a lengthy, but easy process. The shell is a dough made of wheat, butter, sugar and other ingredients. It is formed into an oval, wrapped around a dough ring and fried. The shells can be filled with cream by using a spoon or pastry bag. If not served quickly, the shells will lose their crisp texture. The shells should be filled with cream immediately before serving.

It is possible to buy cannoli shells already made, which of course is a lot easier for the home cook.  Felicia stays very true to the traditional recipe by using both ricotta and mascarpone cheese. Many commercial cannoli that you find today do not use the mascarpone cheese.

You know I've shared a lot of my grandmother Felicia's recipes. But this next recipe is not a recipe of hers. If she ever saw what I was going to do with her traditional cannoli recipe, she would kill me. She would never approve. But I assure you, if you try it, you're going to love it. And I think if she was still alive and she gave it a taste, it would be hard for her to not stay that they were delicious.

One of the major components to my grandmother's cannoli recipe was ricotta cheese. So years ago, I set out to make her cannolis, and I found the cannoli filling to be very watery. So after doing some research and tweaking, I found that it's not your average ricotta that you're supposed to use. It's a fresh ricotta.

Fresh ricotta, you will find, is very dry. It's an absolute must if you're making cannolis, along with mascarpone cheese. Those two ingredients together is going to give you the perfect consistency to make the perfect cannoli.

So we're going to start with two cups of fresh ricotta. Use your hands, pack it in. Then we're going to go right into the mixer. And to that we're going to add 16 ounces of fresh mascarpone cheese. It comes in tubs in your local grocery store in the fine cheese section. Absolutely delicious.

We're going to turn our mixing bowl onto a medium. We're going to lock it shut so it doesn't fly open. And we're going to put it on a median speed until our ricotta and mascarpone cheese are incorporated nice and creamy. It will take a couple of minutes.

I think that that's good. This is the texture that we're looking for. Now, as you can see, everything's incorporated together, very creamy. And that's what we're looking for, that creamy consistency.

Now, to make your ricotta sweet, we're going to add three cups of confection sugar. Get it worked in. It's looking very good, and it smells delicious. So we're going to add our vanilla extract. And then, pumpkin pie spice.

Now, we're going to let that mix in. And you can smell the pumpkin already. Smells like pumpkin pie. Who knows we're make cannolis. This is the canned pumpkin. We're going to add three quarters of a cup of pumpkin. You can see it turns a nice all orange color.

OK. And here we have pumpkin pie ricotta filling for our cannolis. We're going to place it into the refrigerator for at least four hours. The longer you keep it in the refrigerator, the better the consistency will be. It will firm up, and it will be easier to pipe into your cannoli shells.

So I placed them in my refrigerator overnight. And I'm going to show you a trick on how to fill a pastry bag. So here's a bar glass. You're going to take your pastry bag, drop your tip in. Bring it to the front, squeeze it, and then you're going to bend the tip up, just like that.

And you're going to place it in the jar with the tip up, so when you put your filling in, the filling isn't oozing out of the bottom. Into the glass. And with your hand, you're just going to press the bag down and fold the edges of your bag around the glass.

Using a spatula or a spoon, whichever is easier for you, see how the ricotta sticks? It's nice, it's firmed up. It's really key to keep it in the refrigerator for at least the four hours. I prefer overnight.

Easily you can load your pastry bag with your cannoli filling. And you're just going to open up the pastry bag. Get the air out. You're going to fold it in. And then you're going to fold it in again. OK? And you're just going to give it a little bit of a twist before we pull it out of the glass.

So now you have something to hold onto. You're going to lift it out of the glass. And you're still holding here, and with your other hand, you're just going to press the filling down. As you can see, the filling is coming out of my tip now.

With pressure in this hand, you're going to stick your tip into the middle of the cannoli-- as far as the tip will go in. And with pressure with your right hand, if you're right-handed, you're going to squeeze, and you're going to notice the filling just goes right in. How pretty does that look?

You can see the light orange filling. You can see the pumpkin pie spice. It's delicious. I'm going to flip it around, we're going to stick it all the way into the cannoli, meeting the other filling on the other side. And again, we're going to squeeze as hard as we can. And there is your perfect pumpkin pie cannoli.

Some people are allergic to nuts, and you can leave them just as is. You can dip the edge with some mini chocolate chips. That's delicious. So I like to garnish the ends of my pumpkin cannolis with pistachios. Another thing from the earth.

So going to dip the end, and the end. How pretty is that? And then, for the final touch, we're going to use some confection sugar in a little sifter, and we're going to just dust them with powdered sugar.

Pumpkin cannolis. Not my grandmother's normal cannoli recipe. But I assure you, if she were alive today and tried this cannoli, she's going to say, Felicia, good job. Give it a try. Mmm. They're really good.

Pumpkin Cannoli
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