Ricotta and Lemon Curd Filled Cannoli Shells

I am very fortunate to work with a wonderful woman who happens to be of Italian descent. She and I were chatting about her Christmas Eve dinner and particularly her spaghetti sauce. One ingredient in the sauce that I had never thought of adding but which added a wonderful flavor was celery salt.

When I realized that seven would be at Bret’s Table for Christmas Day dinner I decided to take the recipe she recited and see if I could recreate it. It turned out to a truly wonderful red sauce and one that I hope she will let me add to my cookbook.

To continue with the Italian theme, I served Cannoli Shells (Alessi Brand). I made a lemon curd into which I folded some whole milk ricotta and sweetened whipped cream. for the filling.

Here’s the recipe for the Lemon Curd:

8 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest from two lemons
1 cup lemon juice
Pinch of kosher salt
8 ounces unsalted butter

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until evenly blended and set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt until the sugar has melted.

Whisk about ¾ cup of the hot liquid over the eggs to temper them. Return the egg mixture back into the saucepan and whisk until the curd thickens; about 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the butter.

Spoon the curd into a clean bowl and cover the top with food film, pressing it down directly on the curd. Set aside to cool slightly, then place in the refrigerator to set completely.

I whipped about 1/3 cup of heavy whipping cream with 1/3 cup of powdered sugar. I folded this into about a 1/2 cup of whole milk ricotta. Then I folded in the lemon curd. I returned this to the refrigerator to set-up (can be made the day prior).

When ready to fill the shells, I placed the filling in a piping bag and filled the shells. I sprinkled the ends of each with toasted chopped pistachio nuts and crystallized lemon peel.

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  1. chris
    Posted January 2, 2009 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    They were wonderful. That same lemon curd was fabulous in the crepes you made for us this summer.

    Make this stuff folks, it will not disapoint!

  2. Bret's Table
    Posted January 2, 2009 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the Cannoli. We thoroughly enjoyed your company Christmas Day. Happy New Year!

  3. Mike of Mike's Table
    Posted January 15, 2009 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been meaning to try home-made cannolis for a good while now and this looks like a fun twist on them. That lemony filling sound delicious!

  4. Bret's Table
    Posted January 15, 2009 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Hi Mike – I hope you enjoy the lemon curd filling. Use as much or as little ricotta according to your tastes; too much whipped cream though and the filling becomes too soft to fill the shells.

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