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Cannoli Icecream

October 1, 2008

Cannoli from Modern Pastry, originally uploaded by JordanaZ.

A while ago, N. and I (J.) saw a show on Food Network about a store that made all kinds of different ice creams out of regular recipe pastries and stuff, and we got inspired. Sort of. We didn’t attempt anything super crazy like a Reuben sandwich ice cream, in case you were wondering.

We tried – tried – something a little more generic. Something in a cannoli. I wouldn’t say that it came out exactly like you might expect a cannoli to taste, but it did taste very good.

We actually go this recipe from Jim Caccamo at Slashfood. Now, I wouldn’t say that N. and I are super-expert ice creamers, so we didn’t go with anything too complicated. That being said, this recipe isn’t simple – not hard, but not simple, either.

Follow the bouncing ball…

Cosmic Cannoli Ice Cream
(recipe by Jim Caccamo)

2 cups plus 2 tbsp half-and-half, divided
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Zest of 1 lemon
1 pound (about 2 cups) fresh ricotta cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup candied fruit (or dried fruit), in 1/4 -inch dice
1/3 cup pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
Cannoli pieces (for garnish)

Bring 2 cups half-and-half just to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest. Slowly, pour the hot half-and-half into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat. Stir slowly and continuously with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens, about 5 minutes. (The custard will hold a path on the back of the spoon when a finger is drawn across it when it is thick enough). Do not boil. Pour the custard through a medium-mesh sieve set over a bowl.

Place ricotta and vanilla in bowl of a food processor. Pulse to mix. Add up to 2 tablespoons half-and-half, as needed, and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Add ricotta mixture to the custard and whisk together. Cover and refrigerate mixture until cold (at least 1 hour).

Transfer the cold mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Add chocolate chips, fruit and nuts during the last minute. Transfer ice cream to a container; cover and freeze until firm before serving.

This recipe made about…um…I don’t know how much it made; about a mixing bowl full:) Like I said, not exactly like cannoli, but still very good. I’d try it in a waffle cone, as it’s more cannoli-esque, like the original author said.

Anyway, give this a shot when you’re feeling adventurous and let us know what you think!

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