Zesty Lemon & Pistachio Cannoli


This recipe is an adaptation of Jamie Oliver's Lemon & Pistachio Cannoli; it featured in the July 2014 edition of delicious. magazine.

This recipe was designed specifically to be made with Bakers' Magic gluten free flour. The finished baked product will not be the same if you use another gluten free flour and you will need to adjust the recipe, particularly if the flour you're using contains rice flour. 




300 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

50 g Caster sugar

1/2 tsp Bicarb soda

Pinch of cinnamon

Zest of 1 lemon

65 g Marsala#

60 g Butter (melted)

1 Egg yolk

50 g Water

 1 Egg white

2 lt Sunflower oil^

This amount of pastry will make ~50 cannoli. If you think this is going to be too many 1/2 the ingredients & use 10 g of egg yolk. Another possible option is to make a whole batch & freeze some of the dough. I have stored the dough in the fridge overnight however I haven't frozen it. 

Marsala is a Sicillian fortified wine.

I would strongly recommend the use of a candy thermometer when heating the oil. 


400 g Mascapone*

300 g Thick Greek style yoghurt*

160 g Icing sugar

Zest of 2 lemons (~9 g)

50 g Lemon juice (~1 lemon)

80 g Pistachios - finely chopped

extra icing sugar for dusting

Jamie's original recipe contained a mix of ricotta, mascapone & yoghurt. Unfortunately the ricotta I bought at the supermarket was a big let down. The filling was too runny with little "rubbery" bits in it. I know that cannoli are supposed to have ricotta in them so I decreased the amount of ricotta relative to the mascapone & yoghurt. It was better but I could still taste those little rubbery bits. So I ended up ditching the ricotta, the filling is much better without it. If you are able to get the ricotta that is used in cannoli, apparently it is creamier & does not contain as much water, you may want to add some of it in - but try this one before you do.  


In a mixing bowl stir together the Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour, caster sugar & bicarb.

Melt the butter.

To the melted butter add the water, Marsala, lemon zest & egg yolk.

Stir to combine.

Add the butter mix to the dry ingredients & stir until all wet ingredients are incorporated.

Prepare a clean work surface. It is easiest if you have a work surface that can be lifted up, for example a pastry mat.

Transfer the dough to the pastry mat & knead until the mixture is smooth. This mix is more "elastic" if it is kept moving.

Rolling out the dough

By hand

Take part of the dough ball (1/4 - 1/8) & keep the remaining dough covered.

Knead the piece of dough, flatten it slightly & cover with a piece of baking paper the length of the pastry mat.

To ensure the dough is an even thickness follow this tip. Find something that is ~1 mm thick that can be placed on either side of the dough, this will be your "spacer". I have stainless steel spacers 1 mm, 2 mm & 3 mm thick - I went to a sheet metal fabricator place here in Ballarat & asked them to cut me 2 spacers 5 cm x 57 cm in the different thicknesses. It cost me $10 for the lot. When rolling out the dough ensure the rolling pin is wide enough to span the dough and part of the "spacer". Initially when rolling the pin may not necessarily rest on the spacer, however, when the dough is the same thickness as the spacer it will. At this stage the dough should be all the same thickness.

When the dough is ~1 mm thick you should be able to see markings on your pastry mat (if there are markings). 

If you have cannoli tubes (I bought a packet of 4 for $6.50 in a kitchen shop) take off the baking paper & use a 10 cm round cutter to cut out discs. Twist the cutter to ensure the dough is cut. If you don't have cannoli tubes but still want to taste the pastry & filling combination use a largish cutter to cut out shapes. These will be deep fried as flat pastry, instead of filling them use them as dipping pieces. 

By Pasta machine

It was so much easier to put the dough through the pasta machine than doing it by hand - even though my machine wasn't anchored to my bench!

Set up the pasta machine so that you have plenty of bench space.

Take ~1/4 - 1/8th of the dough & knead it well before putting it through the machine on the widest setting. If the dough tends to crumble when coming out of the machine, knead it a little more & try again. You may need to repeat this process 2 or 3 times before it starts to come out of the machine looking like pasta. If you want the edges to be straight fold the longest sides of the dough over into the middle & fold it again until the folded dough is the same width as the machine. Put this dough through the machine. 

Decrease the width by 2 or 3 notches & put the dough through the machine again.

Decrease the width to the 2nd or 3rd smallest setting on the machine. I did try the smallest setting but the resulting cannoli are too thin. 

Use a 10 cm round cutter to cut out discs. Twist the cutter to ensure the dough is cut.


Wrap the disk around a cannoli tube. If it helps lift up the pastry mat a little to start "peeling" off the dough disc. Once the disc is just on the tube, twist the tube a little while lifting it away from the pastry mat. 

The dough will be overlapped slightly & "glued" with a little of the egg white. Dip a clean finger tip in the egg white & gently dab this onto the dough that will be the bottom of the overlap. This dough shrinks when it is cooked & it is best to leave a little "slack" when overlapping the dough.   

Repeat for the remaining discs. Gather up the scraps of dough & put it back with the remaining dough. Provided you knead the dough before rolling it out it can be reworked many times. The cannoli pictured above are now ready to be deep fried.

Roll out more dough, cut discs etc.  

Deep frying

If you have a deep fryer pour the oil in & set it to 180 C.

Pour the oil into a large saucepan. Heat the oil to 180 C - use a candy thermometer. When the temperature of the oil gets to ~170 C lower the heat. It is important to maintain the temperature of the oil as close to 180 C as possible. If it heats up above 180 C don't worry, turn of the heat, cook a couple of the cannoli & the temperature will drop.

Put a couple of layers of paper towel on a plate.

Carefully lower a cannoli tube into the oil & leave it in there for ~1 min (when they are ready they will be a golden brown colour). Use long tongs to grab the end of the tube to bring it out of the oil. Allow excess oil to drip back into the saucepan. Gently rest the cannoli on the paper towels. Allow it to cool before taking the tube out. Sometimes when I was trying to get the cannoli out of the oil I couldn't grab the end of the tube or it would slip back into the oil - to stop them from overcooking I would grab the end of the tube at ~50 sec (well try anyway) & hold it until the minute was up. I found putting more than 2 cannoli in the oil at a time made it a little too difficult to get them out in time.

Repeat with the other uncooked cannoli.

Repeat the whole process of rolling out the dough, cutting the discs, rolling up the cannoli & deep frying.

When I make these again I will try cutting out all the discs at one time but store them under a damp tea towel, probably with baking paper between the layers. My only concern with making them this way is whether the dough becomes too hard to wrap around the cannoli tube. Until I try it I am unsure whether it will work this way.

Allow the cannoli to cool down. If you are not using them on the day they were made store them in an airtight container. 

The filling  

Each cannoli will need ~25 g of the filling.

Mix together the mascapone & yoghurt in a bowl.

Stir in the sifted icing sugar. The water content of the yoghurt & mascapone will dissolve the sugar quickly (the last time I made the filling I didn't sift the icing sugar).

Stir in the lemon zest & juice & 25 g of the finely chopped pistachios. The mixture will thicken slightly.

Store the filling in the fridge until you are ready to fill the cannoli. 

Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.

Pipe into each of the cannoli shells.

Sprinkle a little of the chopped pistachios on either end & dust with icing sugar.

If you cut the pastry into shapes, dust them with icing sugar.

Put some of the filling on to a serving plate, sprinkle on the pistachios & arrange the pastry shapes around it.