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Cialdoni Filling

Cialdoni are similar to cannoli but are baked rather than fried and the shells are coated in ground almonds; these are a specialty of Agrigento.   Makes 3 to 4 dozen
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Ingredients

DOUGH

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

4 tablespoons Crisco or lard, cut into bits

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Warm milk as needed to make a dough

Melted butter/brush for coating cannoli forms

FILLING

1 pound ricotta cheese (Sheep’s milk is traditional.)

1 1/4 cups Confectioner's sugar

NUT TOPPING

1 cup coarsely chopped almonds, toasted

SUGAR SYRUP

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup water

Confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling

Directions

DOUGH
Sift the flour with the sugar in a large bowl.  Add the Crisco or lard cut into small pieces, the vanilla, egg, and enough milk to make a smooth ball of dough.  Wrap the dough and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces.  Flatten the dough with a rolling pin and run it through a pasta machine until about 1/8 inch thick.  Cut sheets into 3 inch diameter circles and wrap each one around well-buttered cannoli forms.  Seal the edge with a little water and place the forms on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Bake until golden brown (about 15 minutes).  Once baked, place them on racks to cool.

FILLING
Put the ricotta cheese in a colander and drain it until it is dry and firm.  Place it in a bowl and mix it well with the sugar.

SUGAR SYRUP
Mix the sugar in a saucepan with the water and bring to a boil.   Boil for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture looks clear and all the sugar has dissolved.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Brush the outside of the cylinders with the sugar syrup and gently roll them in the chopped almonds. 

Fill the cylinders with the ricotta just before the serving; then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

This recipe is featured on show 2914 – Cialdoni, Agrigento Pastries. 

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