Orange Cannoli Pie
This orange cannoli pie has toasted pine nuts in the crust and is filled with sweetened ricotta cheese that’s flavored with orange zest and semisweet chocolate. Traditional tube-shaped cannoli shells need to be filled right before serving to retain the crispness of the fried pastry. But with this orange cannoli pie, you can fill the pie shell ahead of time.
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup pine nuts (pignoli), toasted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, chilled
1 package unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup water
1 package good-quality semisweet chocolate
15-ounce container ricotta cheese, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the confectioners’ sugar and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
Pulse until the nuts are ground.
Add the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Pulse a few times to blend.
Cut the butter into pieces and add to the flour mixture.
Pulse a few times until a coarse meal forms.
Separate the egg, placing the yolk in the food processor.
You can discard the white.
Pulse a few times until the mixture just starts to come together.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and pat into a ball.
Place the dough between two pieces of wax paper and gently roll into a 10-inch circle.
If the dough is too soft to hold its shape, chill for 20 minutes.
Remove one sheet of wax paper.
Carefully flip the dough into the tart pan.
Peel off the other sheet of wax paper.
Push the dough evenly up the sides.
If there are any tears, just pat them closed. The dough is very giving.
Prick the bottom with a fork.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until light golden in color.
Set aside to cool.
In a small saucepan, soften the gelatin in the water.
Melt the softened gelatin.
Set aside to cool slightly.
Chop the semisweet chocolate.
Zest the orange.
Discard the orange — you want only the zest.
In a bowl, combine 1/3 cup chocolate, 2 tablespoons orange zest, the ricotta cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla.
Whip the cream in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
Stir the gelatin into the ricotta cheese mixture.
Fold the whipped cream into the mixture.
Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mixture just starts to set.
Watch that it doesn’t get too firm.
Mound the filling into the crust.
Refrigerate for 2 hours, until set.
This pie keeps in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Per serving: Calories 419 (From fat 231); Fat 26g (Saturated 14g); Cholesterol 84mg; Sodium 146mg; Carbohydrate 38g (Dietary fiber 2g); Protein 11g.