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Cannoli

3 cups plain flour (15 oz)
3 egg yolks
1 egg
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons marsala
1 egg white
oil for deep frying

1 kg (2 lbs) ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar
6 pieces of 2-inch cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup mixed peel
icing sugar for coating
2 oz. dark chocolate, grated or chopped

Sift 1 cup of the flour into the bowl, add egg yolks and rub in
until mixture resmbles bread crumbs. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Add remaining sifted flour, lightly beaten egg, lemon rind and
marsala; mix well. Turn mixture onto lightly floured surface and
knead 10 - 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
for 1 hour.

Cut pastry into four pieces. Roll out each piece to paper thinness.
This is important; if the pastry is too thick, it will not be
crisp, with the characteristic "bubbles" when it's deepfried. If
you have a pasta machine, roll the pastry through three times,
adjusting the machine to roll pastry thinner each time. Measure
the length of the cannoli moulds (or you can use cannelloni pasta
shells as moulds!) then cut the pastry into strips about 5 mm (1/4
inch) narrower than the shells. Put the shell at one end of the
pastry, roll the pastry round, then cut so about 1 cm (1/2 inch)
overlaps. Brush this cut end with egg white, press firmly into
position. Do not get egg white on the mould, or it will stick to
the pastry and be hard to remove. Once you've measured one piece
of pastry, you can cut all the others.

Place cannoli (about 4 at a go) into deep hot oil; fry until golden
brown, approximately 1 minute. Remove cannoli from oil, place on
absorbent paper. and let cool about 1 minute. Then (use a teatowl
for this, as shells are very hot) carefully remove the mould (or
pasta shell) from inside the pastry. Let pastry shells cool
completely; they will become quite crisp.

For the filling, place the cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer,
add sifted icing sugar and beat on high speed for 5 minutes. Place
cinnamon sticks in blender and blend on high speed for 60 seconds
or until powdery. You will need a total of 2 Tablespoons of
cinnamon. Add lemon rind, mixed peel an cinnamon to the cheese,
beat further 3 minutes. Spoon filling into large piping bag fitted
with a plain tube. Pipe into the cannoli shells, roll in sifted
icing sugar, dip ends in finely chopped or grated chocolate.

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