My mom's side of the family is of Sicilian descent, so needless to say, food is in our blood (which is actually tomato sauce). My favorite tradition is the cannoli, and I must say that our family's filling is way better than the super-sweet spackle-like substance served in most Italian-American shops. The main difference? We use honey instead of sugar. And we also favor toasted almonds instead of sugary add-ons like chocolate chips.
The filling for this Sunday's Easter batch was spot on, so I thought I'd share:
Emilia D’Amico-LaBella’s Cannoli Filling
2 lbs. ricotta
½ lb. honey (or more to taste)
10 oz. whipping cream
¾ c. toasted sliced almonds
Combine honey and ricotta with two forks (DO NOT use a blender or mixer, and add honey in small portions). Whip cream, and fold it (in dollops) into the ricotta/honey mixture. Fold in toasted almonds.
Making cannoli shells is kind of a pain (you need to fry them around forms), so mom decided to bake cups using phyllo pastry and a muffin tin as a form. It worked well, as they were light, crunchy, and flaky. She also didn't have the traditional candied cherries, so we cheated a bit and added maraschino... I'm personally all about the filling, so it didn't matter!