These intensely flavored cannoli are just as satisfying on any cold weather night when you can smell the house filling up with aroma of baking, but are especially pleasing when family and friends are around for the holidays. If you desire to leave out any liqueur (in the way of Calvados seen below), simply boil ½ cup apple cider or juice until it reduces to ¼-cup. Cool completely before proceeding with the recipe. Omit the schnapps altogether if desired, replacing with either rum, vanilla or mint extract.
Harvest Time Italian Cannoli
16 ounces Mascarpone cheese, softened
¾ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup minced figs, dates, dried cranberries or raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon apple schnapps
¼ cup Calvados or apple cider
1 cup evaporated skim (fat-free) milk
10 prepared cannoli shells (See Note)
In a large bowl, beat first 7 ingredients together until smooth. Scoop half or even a quarter of the cheese filling into a plastic baggie at a time. Snip off a corner of the baggie and close the open part. Pipe the filling into one end of the shell and finish filling from the other end. Repeat with remainder of shells. Cover and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes for the filling to set. Remove, dust with additional powdered sugar if desired and enjoy.
Note: Or make your own cannoli shells, found on my website at theyankeechef.com
The Yankee Chef Jim Bailey is a third-generation chef, food columnist, cookbook author and food historian. Bailey lives in Maine with his wife and four children.