i recently told someone that i want to learn how to make cannoli. i basically start drooling every time i walk past a pastry shop that has them in the window… those flaky, crispy, fried shells… the light, creamy, smooth filling… usually with tiny bits of chocolate throughout… they are the dessert that dreams are made of. anyway, at some point i will get around to making real cannoli. i’m not quite confident enough in my deep-frying abilities yet, but i’ll get there. for now, i’ll hold your cannoli cravings over with this tart that i saw on how sweet it is.
oh, this tart. it really is like a cannoli in tart form. the crust is like a subtly cinnamon-flavored cookie – crispy, but just flaky enough to double as a pie crust. then there’s the filling. made mostly from ricotta cheese, the filling itself is actually not that sweet. it is just barely flavored with a bit of sugar and some amaretto, so that it tastes just right in its creamy goodness, then chocolate chips throughout bring the sweetness level up. chocolate drizzled over the top and powdered sugar to finish make this pretty much the perfect mouthful. it’s definitely a memorable dessert, and when i served it at a meal recently, it disappeared almost immediately.
the flavors of a cannoli, in tart form: a crispy cinnamon cookie crust, filled with ricotta chocolate filling.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2¼ cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons amaretto
- ¾ cups chocolate chips
- ¼ cup chocolate chips
- ½ tablespoon butter
- a splash of milk
- powdered sugar, for sprinkling
- spray an 11-inch tart pan with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350ºf.
- in a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. use your hands or a pastry cutter to work in the butter until it is in chunks the size of peas. add the egg and milk and mix everything until it comes together into a dough (it should be crumbly, but able to hold together if you press it).
- press the crust into the prepared tart pan. put it in the fridge while you make the filling.
- in a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, sugar, and amaretto. fold in the chocolate chips.
- add the filling to the prepared crust and spread it so that it is smooth on top.
- bake the tart in the oven for 35-45 minutes, until the filling is set. take the tart out and let it cool completely.
- once the tart has cooled, melt the ¼ cup chocolate chips and ½ tablespoon butter in a double boiler (or in the microwave). stir in the milk. drizzle the chocolate mixture all over the top of the tart.
- put the tart in the fridge to chill completely.
- right before serving, sprinkle the tart with powdered sugar.