Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cannoli Ice Cream w. Pistachios & Dark Chocolate

I'm not a huge fan of pastries, but I adore cannoli. They are creamy, crunchy and not-too-sweet; I probably only have a cannoli a couple of times a year but, man, do I enjoy them! My friend Robin over at Knead to Cook has a great recipe for cannoli filling that I Pinned a while back; that simple but fabulous recipe prompted me to develop my own for an ice cream version. Because the only thing I love more than cannoli is ice cream!

This frozen dessert is super easy; you don't even have to make a custard since it's mostly ricotta. And if you've only ever had ricotta in lasagna, you are in for a treat: it makes for a wonderful dessert, whether in cannoli or Italian cheesecake! Ricotta is also a fantastic source of calcium, protein, and B vitamins.

For the record, I used both whole milk and whole milk ricotta; I always use whole dairy products. I do this for a number of reasons, including taste (holy cannoli, it tastes so much better!), satisfaction (fat is very satiating, so you'll be satisfied with a smaller serving), and nutrition. Now, that last one might sound counterintuitive to a lot of you; after all, we've been told for decades now that we should be cutting fat. But it's simply not the case. Just one reason that whole milk dairy makes sense nutritionally: vitamins A and D are fat-soluble, so your body needs that fat to actually absorb them.

Ingredients
yield: about a pint
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla 
  • small pinch of salt
  • 1 3/4 cups good-quality ricotta (homemade is best, but not necessary)
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, raw
  • about 2 ounces dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa
  • additional chopped pistachios and chocolate, for garnish (optional)

Place sugar, vanilla, salt and milk in blender and blend until sugar is dissolved. Add ricotta and puree until very smooth; it should be a similar consistency to cake batter. If you taste it, be careful not to just sit down with a spoon and eat the whole thing. Yeah, it's that yummy.

Pour in your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions to freeze.

In the meantime, roughly chop your pistachios and chocolate—both traditional additions to cannoli filling—into small chunks. About five minutes before the ice cream is done, add these.


Pistachios add protein, calcium, and even folate!

Once the ice cream is finished it will be a thick, soft-serve consistency. You can fill some organic cones, dip into additional chopped nuts and chocolate, and freeze to make "ice cream cannoli."

"Cone-oli" — much better than a junky King Cone!

Or you can further freeze it (just spoon it into a freezer-safe container) for at least a couple hours, till it's very firm. Then you can scoop and serve on cones or in bowls. Garnish with additional chopped nuts and chocolate!




UPDATE: Donika at Mom What's For Dinner tried out our recipe and loved it! Check out her review here.

UPDATE: Culture Magazine: The Word On Cheese featured our ice cream on their website!

32 comments:

  1. I love this!  Just saw the recipe when I stopped by Sumptuous Spoonfuls and had to come see it in person!  Our market has fresh ricotta and I can taste it already!  

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  2. Thanks for your note, Ann, I hope you like it! Let us know :-)

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  3. I want that now! Cannoli ice cream?! Who knew?

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  4. cannoli filling + ice cream = yum!

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  5. Holy Cannoli! Justine this looks heavenly! Will have to go out and get me these ingredients and try it this weekend! Nice photos as well! Thank you for sharing! 

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  6. Thanks so much, Donika. Let me know how you like it!

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  7. Looks amazing! I'm going to make it this weekend for a family dinner party!

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  8. THat looks so yummy! but i don't have an ice cream maker.. is there any other way??? :/

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  9. I haven't tried this recipe without a maker, but here's a good link on the process: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2007/07/making-ice-crea-1/

    If you try it, will you report back and let us know how it turned out?

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  10. Oh, how fabulous, I do hope you all like it!

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  11. OMG- it's awesome!!! Thanks again for the recipe :)

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  12. Thanks for reporting back - soooo glad you guys liked it so much :-)

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  13. I love making ice-cream, it always tastes so much better. I've just made some ricotta for the first time & decided this would be the perfect way to use it. I wasn't disappointed, it is so good & so quick & easy! You're right cannoli + ice-cream= Yum!

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  14. Thank you, Jane, for trying out our recipe - really glad you liked it! And we so appreciate your posting such a nice review, thanks :-)

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  15. I'm not quite sure I can describe how insanely good this is. Seriously - it might be the best ice cream I've ever had. It must be the ricotta? It was so rich and creamy and just a small amount was so incredibly satisfying. I loved loved loved it. Fantastic. 

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  16. How can I repay you for this amazing review? I'll have to send you a batch of the ice cream ;-)

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  17. I just printed this so I can make it this week....so amazing!! :)

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  18. Fabulous, please come back and let us know how you liked it!

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  19. I made this heavenly ice cream over the weekend and we all LOVED it!!!!  I used the mini chocolate chips (my kids love those) and I had them on hand.  This is a keeper for sure!!!  Thanks for the amazing recipe Justine! :)

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  20. Ooh, the mini chocolate chips sound like such a sweet idea! Thanks for coming back to post a review, much appreciated :-)

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  21. I saw this recipe from your sidebar and had to shout out loud! It looks so good that I want to swear. Whoa! You're a new favorite!

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  22. Yippee, glad to hear it!

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  23. So glad you enjoyed it! Would love to hear if you tried the popsicle idea...

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  24. Fabulous recipe!! I had never made ice cream before, and I just bought a Kitchen Aid attachment. This was the first recipe I tried, and you were right: we almost ate the whole thing before we got it into the freezer. Seems to me you could use this base (ricotta, milk, sugar) for any number of variations. Thanks!

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  25. Yes, I'm definitely going to be posting some new recipes using this ricotta base. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

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  26. Lj's Gourmet KitchenDecember 31, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Yum! Definitely trying this recipe, it looks to die for. There is nothing like a delicous healthy home made dessert :-)

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  27. Thanks so much! Would love for you to report back and let us know how you like it :-)

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  28. Will do, I make my own Ricotta as well.. I make just about everything LOL so I know what's in it :-)

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  29. That's the best way!

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  30. I made this just now - it is so delicious and came out of the ice cream maker surprisingly "hard serve" - maybe it was the ricotta? Anyway, can't wait to serve it to my guests for dinner.

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  31. Hope everyone enjoyed it!

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  32. I made this tonight and it is absolutely delicious! So easy to throw together and the flavor reminds me of the amazing cannoli's I grew up eating after Sunday dinners at my Italian grandparents house. Thank you so much for posting!! I'll surely be making this again and again.

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