Pistachio and rose water Cannoli: a reinterpreted version of the famous Sicilian pastry combined with Persian flavors
Once again we are taking part in the “food battle”, a freindly competion among food bloggers. And we are very happy to do so beacause this month’s theme, chosen by Gaelle from the blog “My nomade cuisine” will allow us to extend our imaginary vacations just a little more. “Delights from elsewhere is the name of this month’s theme and the rules are simple :
At the announcement of the theme, we thought it was now or never to make a fusion recipe between te two countries close to our hearts : Iran and Italy. So we started going through cookbooks and family souvenirs to find THE perfect idea. We finaly chose a sicilian pastry that we both adore and decided to work around it and create something new : Pistachio and rose water Cannoli!
Cannoli is a typical Sicilian pastry that mixe crispy and creamy. It’s a roll of fried dough, stuffed with ricotta cheese, flavored with citrus, pistachios etc. You usualy eat Cannolis with your hands and if you manage to not spread all over yourself is that your really good at this.
Cannolis seemed like the kind of pastry that could handle soe strong persian flavors. Moreover, at each of their visits, Ariana’s parents brings her pistachios, rose water, orange blossom and many other delights Persia. And we thank them because that’s how we developed our recipe for the pistachio and rose water Cannoli.
You might have noticed in our previous recipes that we are often inspired by vegan and and paleo food making processes (without necessacerily following any of those diets). So it was by researching on “fruit roll ups” and “energy balls” that we had the idea to replace the Cannoli dough by a raw pistachio and date dough.
We’re not gonna lie to you making the pistachio dough wasn’t as quick as we were hopoing. The difficult part of the job was to remove the thin skin, one by one, in order to bring out their intense green. It also mede the dough a bit smoother, so you may not want to skip this step if you’re tryong the recipe. Though I think some stores do sell peeled pistachios.
Despite the very long pistachio peeling process, we very much enjoyed creating our Cannoli rolls and filling them up with ricotta cheese. Result approved by the entire team of Cosmic tomatoes 🙂
Soak the pistachios in water for 3 hours minimum. You can also soak them overnight.
Remove the thin red / ocher skin on the pistachion . Certainly a bit difficult, but it provides a softer and greener pistachio paste.
Place the pistachios in a running blender. Once the pistachios are completely ground into a powder, let them blend for 5 more minutes. This makes them a little more pasty.
Add the almond powder and mix again for 3 minutes.
Add the dates, the milk powder, the cardamom and the orange blossom extract. Mix.
At this point you should have a easy to handle pistachio paste. Remove it from the blender and try knead a little. If it sticks a lot, add more milk powder.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and press it into a disk. Leave to rest at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling: whisk the ricotta, sugar, lemon and rose water together.
Place the Ricotta filling in the fridge as well.
Take out the pistachio dough with pistachio and place it on a flat surface. Using a rolling pin, push it down in order to obtain a 5mm thick pastry.
Cut circles of about 10 cm diameter in the dough. Would be better if you have cookie cutter.
Roll each circle to make tubes. The Cannoli is normally prepared with special stainless steel tubes for this dessert. If you happen to have them, it would be perfect. Otherwise you can, like ourselves, lipstick tubes or something like that.
Place the pistachio rolls in the freezer for 20 minutes so that they become stiff in that form.
Take out the ricatto and place it in a piping bag.
Remove the pistachio rolls, remove internal objects, and start filling them with the ricotta on each side.
Enhance your Pistachio and rose water Cannoli with sliced pistachios and rose petals jam.