Do you know what started with a line of jams on a card table at a New England farmers' market? And that today, it has grown to be a giant in the fancy food market, producing more that 170 types of preserves and condiments, and... it's a shoppe that I frequent often. In our neighboring town of York, Maine you will find the headquarters and processing center of Stonewall Kitchen.
You've probably seen their smartly labeled jars of gourmet chutneys, jams, jellies, salsas, and sauces in specialty stores near you. The company's attractive complex houses the company store, a bustling café and take-out restaurant, a viewing area of the cooking and bottling processes, and stunning gardens. Café tables are set outside and the store is brimming with wares that would make Martha Stewart proud. You may sample all the mustards, salsas, and dressings that you can stand, or have lunch at the café. They now even offer cooking classes with some splendid recipe offerings with local top notch chefs.
I stopped in last week to fill my basket. With the chilly weather finally upon us I was drawn to their delicious Maple Pumpkin Butter. This creamy, flavorful topping is delcious served warm and drizzled over ice cream, muffins or crisp apple pie. I wasn't sure what I would prepare with it just yet, but tossed two jars into my basket. Two other faves of mine are their Hot Pepper Jelly and for everyone that enjoys a Sunday favorite brunch cocktail, some Mimosa Jam. Simply scrumptious!! All in all, a fun shopping day.
So this weekend, I just had that hankering for a roast pork dinner, with roast potatoes, red cabbage and homemade applesauce. With my busy schedule I usually don't have much time to prepare larger meals during the week.. but when it comes to Sundays, it's a must around here. I just love Sunday dinners. Along with the meal itself, I usually will make a dessert of sorts as well. After rifling through my cupboards I spotted the two jars of pumpkin butter I had purchased the week before.
The decision was made.. cannoli's for dessert! I typically prefer custard filled cannoli's, both the chocolate and vanilla custard instead of the traditional ricotta cheese filled cannoli's, but as I had a tub of fresh ricotta in the refrigerator I decided to attempt a pumpkin, ricotta, mascarpone filled cannoli. The result.. a very uniquely flavored, dessert treat, with just a sprinkling of crushed pecans and a dusting of powdered sugar.
I made ten of them and they were so good that I was forced to deliver five over to our neighbors or pay the piper when I jumped on the scale come Monday morning. :)
You may buy pre-made shells in your local bakery or make your own. Here's how I make mine:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 TBLS sugar
5 tsp vegetable shortening
1 whole egg, plus yolk of second egg (reserve white of second egg)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sweet marsala or white wine
vegetable oil -for frying
Place all the cannoli ingredients except the flour and reserved egg white in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Slowly add the flour and knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes. Form dough into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then let stand at room temperature 1 hour.
Divide the dough into quarters and roll out on surface dusted with flour. Roll the dough a little thicker than paper-thin and cut into four inch squares. Lightly oil cannoli tubes. Lightly beat egg white, then brush bottom edge of 1 dough round with egg white. Place a point of a square on the middle of an aluminum cannoli tube and wrap dough around until the ends meet. Dampen the ends of dough with reserved egg white and seal.
Fry the shells in 2 inches of vegetable oil until lightly browned. I fry two at a time. Remove onced browned. Slide the cooked shells off the tubes while hot( if you let them cool down they will stick to the tubes and break apart) and set on paper toweled lined plate to drain and cool. Cool tubes and re-oil them.. Wrap remaining dough squares around tubes and fry in same manner.
Make filling while dough stands:
1 cup well drained ricotta
1/2 cup mascarpone
1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin puree
4 oz. Stonewall Kitchen Maple Pumpkin Butter
2 oz confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
Beat all ingredients together until thickened. Scrape filling into a pastry bag and set aside in refrigerator. Just before serving, pipe into your prepared cannoli shells. Sprinkle on the chopped pecans and dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!