This creamy cannoli pie is a dessert you'll come back to time and time again! The tender cookie crust is filled with a luscious ricotta mixture, flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. What's not to love?
Turkeys often get all the attention on Thanksgiving, but at Feedfeed our favorite part is the pie. From flaky crusts to creamy fillings, the art of making pies deserves an event of its own. That’s why we partnered with Watkins, one of the world’s top purveyors in natural and gourmet flavoring products, to host a virtual Pie Making Workshop led by Gramercy Tavern pastry chef Miro Uskokovic and hosted by Jake Cohen.
For our event, Chef Miro demonstrated his cannoli pie recipe with a buttery cinnamon infused cookie crust and creamy vanilla ricotta filling #HolyCannoliPie!
To enhance the pie’s key flavors, it’s essential to use high-quality flavoring products like Watkins award-winning Organic Pure Vanilla Extract and Organic Ground Cinnamon to strike the right balance of sweet and spice (without artificial ingredients or added dyes). Learn more about our virtual event with Watkins, read the full event article here.
For the Cookie Crust
- 1 1/ 4 sticks (141 grams) unsalted butter
- 1/ 8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/ 2 teaspoon Watkins Organic Ground Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Watkins Organic Pure Vanilla Extract
- 9 ounces (255 grams) Petit Beurre Cookies (Butter Keks)
- 2 1/ 2 ounces (71 grams) toasted hazelnuts or hazelnut meal/flour
- 2 large egg whites
For the Creamy Vanilla Ricotta Filling
- 22 ounces (624 grams) whole milk ricotta
- 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/ 4 cup (60 grams) Marsala wine
- 1/ 2 cup (100 grams) sugar
- 1/ 8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/ 8 teaspoon Watkins Organic Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon Watkins Organic Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/ 4 cup (40 grams) glazed or candied orange peel, diced
- 2 1/ 2 ounces toasted hazelnuts, chopped
- 5 ounces (141 grams) dark chocolate bar or block, divided
- 1 1/ 2 cups (355 grams) heavy cream
Line a fine mesh strainer with a square of cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Place the lined strainer over a bowl. Add the ricotta into the strainer, cover with a plate and transfer to the fridge. Let the ricotta drain for at least 8 hours and up to 24. Draining all the excess whey ensures your filling is nice and firm and doesn’t get soupy. When you’re ready to use the drained ricotta, measure out 2 cups (19 ounces). Depending on your ricotta, you’ll either have exactly the right amount or a little extra. Reserve any excess for another use.
When ready to bake the cookie crust the next day, preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack set in the center.
In a small pot over medium heat, add the butter. Cook until the butter sizzles and the milk solids separate and sink to the bottom. Lower the heat and continue to cook until the milk solids turn nut brown. It should smell toasted and nutty. Remove from the heat, and add salt, cinnamon and vanilla and mix well. Reserve in a warm spot in your kitchen so it stays liquid.
Next, combine cookies and hazelnuts (or hazelnut meal) in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground, about 2 minutes. Add the warm brown butter and pulse for 15 to 20 seconds until fully combined. Scrape down the sides of the food processor and add the egg whites. Pulse for additional 15 to 20 seconds or until it looks like wet beach sand. Test by taking a handful, squeezing it in your fist, and seeing if it holds its shape. If it’s too dry and crumbly, add 1 tablespoon of water and process briefly before checking.
Add the crumbs into a pie plate and use your hands to build up the crust evenly. Use the back of a small measuring cup, shot glass or pie tamper to smooth and compact the crust. Slide the pie plate onto a sheet tray and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the crust looks slightly darker and drier. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Next, prepare the filling. First, sprinkle the powdered gelatin over 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl and set aside to bloom for 10 minutes.
Bring 2-3 inches of water to a boil in a medium sauce pot. Keep the water at a low boil and cover with a lid.
In a large heatproof bowl, combine egg, yolks, wine, sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla and mix well with whisk to combine. Place the bowl over the pot of boiling water, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisking constantly, cook the egg mixture for 5-7 minutes or until it registers 180°F (82°C) on an instant read thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, look for the following signs - the mixture should have thickened enough to make foamy ribbons when the whisk is lifted in the air. If you gingerly dip a finger in the sabayon, it should be hot enough that you won’t be able to touch it for more than 2-3 seconds.
Remove the bowl from the heat and add in the bloomed gelatin. Whisk well to ensure the gelatin is fully melted. Set aside at room temperature to cool completely.
When the custard is fully cool, add the strained ricotta and whisk to combine. Whisk enough to ensure there are no large lumps but not so much that you eliminate the signature texture of ricotta. Fold in chopped hazelnuts, and candied orange peel, if using.
Use a Y peeler to shave approximately 1 ounce of chocolate from the block directly into the filling. Use a spatula to gently fold it in.
Then using either a hand mixer, stand mixer (with the whisk attachment) or bowl and whisk, whip the heavy cream to medium peaks and gently fold into the custard.
Scrape the filling into the fully cooled pie shell. Use the peeler again to shave the rest of the chocolate block all over the top of the pie. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours and preferably overnight so the gelatin has time to work it’s magic and the filling fully sets. Serve in large wedges and enjoy!