Holy Cannoli!

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!

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