CHEF JEFF SHARES SEASONAL RECIPES FOR YOUR HOLIDAY SOIREE
Makes approximately 5 dozen canolli
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 Tbs Cinnamon
3 Tbs Shortening (ice cold)
1/2 Cup White Wine
Think pie crust and pasta making when you combine these ingredients.
Sift together flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Cut in the shortening very well (can be done in a food processor). Whisk together the eggs and wine and add to dry ingredients. Combine well, but don’t overdo it. Place dough in a zip top bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the dry ingredients to hydrate.
This next step helps if you have an assistant working with you: Heat oil (using an electric fryer or heavy pot with a thermometer) to 350. Lard works best, but peanut oil or some other vegetable oil with a high smoke point is also nice. Roll out portions of dough to about 1/16” thick. My trick is I use a pasta machine and work the dough down to the 2nd to last setting. Use a 4” circle cutter to cut rounds out of your dough. Wrap the rounds onto canolli forms. I use wood dowels 3/4” thick*. You can also purchase metal forms on the internet, but they do not work as well. Seal the dough with egg wash (50/50 egg and water). Fry until golden. Remove to briefly cool onto a layer of paper towels. Once cool enough to handle, but not completely cool, remove the forms carefully. I do this by holding the end of the form with a paper towel, and holding the shell with another paper towel and gently pulling. Allow to cool completely on wire cooling racks. Store in zip top bags, in single layers. I don’t recommend refrigerating or freezing. They’ll last for several weeks just sealed up in the bags.
Filling (enough for about 18 shells):
1 Lb Ricotta Cheese**
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1 & 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
3-4 oz. Chocolate, finely chopped (the finest quality makes a difference here)
1-2 Tbs. “Nuclear Fruit***” finely chopped
Finely chopped pistachio nuts
Mix ricotta on medium speed in a stand mixer until smooth. Set stand mixer to low and gradually add in powdered sugar, one spoon at a time, until it’s all incorporated. Turn off your mixer and scrape down your bowl. Add in the salt, cinnamon, and vanilla, and mix on low until incorporated. While mixer is going, add in your chocolate and nuclear fruit. Turn off your mixer and give the bowl a last scrape. Mix on low once more. This filling can be stored, usually in the ricotta container, in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.
To fill and serve:
Place about 1/2 of the filling in a quart-sized zip top bag. Cut a small piece off the corner of the bag. Squeeze the filling out of this hole into the shells. Dab the ends of the filled canolli into the chopped pistachios. Dust finished canolli with powdered sugar.
*My grandfather made forms out of a broomstick, which he cut into 6” lengths, and soaked in whiskey for a week. I’m not sure what the whiskey does to the wood, but that’s the story.
**Not all ricotta is created equal. You don’t want your ricotta runny or loose. The thicker the better for this recipe. No matter which brand I buy, I find that emptying the ricotta into a colander lined with a paper towel, over a bowl, and leaving it in the refrigerator overnight does the trick.
***Nuclear fruit is a term I use for the candied fruit that grocery stores carry around the holidays for people to use in fruitcake recipes. Unfortunately, it isn’t much good in fruit cake. Look for the type of fruit that has red and green cherries, as well as pineapple.
IAN BLACKBURN – OWNER/FOUNDER, WINE LA & FOUNDER/CO-WINEMAKER, BEEKEEPER CELLARS TALKS UPCOMING EVENTS AND HOLIDAY GIFT GIVING!
Ian drinks wine for a living and plans 50¬‐100 public and private events a year. Ian stays busy buying collectible wines for high profile clients, planning luxury wine trips for his audience, hosting corporate events, and studying for his Master of Wine. Since 1995, LearnAboutWine has done the hard work of building a better culture for fine wine, opening the doors for more quality products to enter the marketplace and has taught over 800,000 students. With a reach of over 80,000 current subscribers and followers, LearnAboutWine now focuses on the best quality events and classes, and wine credential programs which have graduated over 1000 wine students in the last 9 years with a Junior Wine Executive credential (JWE).
ABOUT BEEKEEPER CELLARS
Beekeeper Cellars is the vision of best friends and co-winemakers Ian Blackburn and Clay Mauritson. The two collaborated after adventurous individual careers in the wine business, and at last, decided to work together on a project of their own.
Clay, a 7th generation grape grower, and his family found themselves the owners of a significant slice of the Rockpile Appellation, through an amazing set of historical land transactions. The Mauritson family realized the potential and parented the creation of the ROCKPILE AVA. In 1998, Ian and Clay climbed the hill and watched the Madrone Spring Vineyard get planted, while discussing the future of Rockpile and the dream it represented.
In 2008, Clay saw the fruits of his family's labor taking shape and came to Ian with a unique opportunity to source some of the Rockpile fruit. He told Ian in the difficult days of 2008, “now is the time to get in and build the business and have it take shape as the market improves, and to not wait until business is strong as you will have a hard time getting access to the right quality assets.” Ian took heed of Clay’s wise comment and said "When your best friend is Clay Mauritson and he offers Rockpile fruit and to assist with winemaking…... you make Zinfandel.”
In Los Angeles, Ian operates a specialty wine marketing organization known as wineLA and has pioneered wine education for the past 20 years (since 1995) through www.learnaboutwine.com and www.wineLA.com. Beekeeper Cellars is also involved in Ian’s Masters of Wine Thesis project and provides him the winemaking training he requires to help pass the difficult Masters of Wine exam...an ongoing pursuit.