Last weekend, I decided that it had been far too long since I made a pie, so I resolved to remedy that situation by making two. The first was a quick and dirty apple pie made with some Jonagold apple pie filling I had canned last fall (yes, it still tastes delicious almost a year later). The second, which you see here today, was my idea of a chocolate chip cannoli pie. Even while I play fridge tetris with the two pie plates currently taking up much of my fridge space, I have no regrets.
Cannoli pie is something I’ve wanted to try for awhile. There’s something so satisfying about the sweet, creamy filling and its crunchy, tubular shell. Just thinking about it is making me want to make the trek through the hot, muggy weather to get one (almost, but not quite). Since the filling ingredients are very similar to those in cheesecake, I had a hunch that, with a few adjustments, it wouldn’t be too outlandish to turn the humble cannoli into a pie.
For the crust, I decided to use a graham cracker crust made with pizzelle cookies instead of graham crackers (see how to make it here). The pizzelle cookies taste almost exactly like cannoli shells. In fact, the packaging mine came in had directions for reshaping pizzelle into cannoli shells. If you can’t find or don’t want to use pizzelle, graham crackers or vanilla shortbread cookies will work just as well.
I adapted the filling recipe from this recipe for baked ricotta custard. Based on some recipes I perused for regular cannoli, I decided not to blend the ingredients in a food processor or blender, and that was probably a mistake. The pie ended up with a somewhat grainy texture which I wasn’t entirely thrilled with. Next time I make this pie, I will probably try to puree the filling to smooth it out more.
I also made a slight miscalculation with the addition of the chocolate chips. They tasted fine, don’t get me wrong. However, because the cheese filling is so thin and runny, they all sank to the bottom. To remedy that, I’ve modified my instructions so that the chocolate chips are added at two different stages of baking. This should help to distribute them more evenly throughout the pie. Alternatively, you can just leave them out, or sprinkle them on top as a garnish after the pie cools.
You will need the following ingredients:
For the pie:
- 1 graham cracker crust, made with pizzelle cookies if you are making your own (see here for a tutorial)
- 15 oz. ricotta cheese
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup milk
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips
For baking ambiance:
- My musical selection was all over the place for this bakeventure, starting with Adele and ending with Huey Lewis. Set forth on your own personal musical odyssey!
Let’s get baking!
Prepare your pie crust as directed and lower your oven temperature to 325°F (or preheat your oven to 325° if you’re using a store bought crust).
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the ricotta cheese, cream, and milk until smooth. If you would like your filling to be extra smooth, you can do this in a food processor or blender instead.
Beat in the eggs and vanilla until just combined. The batter may have some yellow streaks in it.
Beat in the lemon zest, cinnamon, cornstarch, and powdered sugar until fully-incorporated.
Carefully pour the filling into the crust. Sprinkle half of the chocolate chips evenly across the pie (they will sink to the bottom).
Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips evenly across the top. Bake for another 30 minutes, or until the center of the pie is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the pie cool completely on a cooling rack. Serve garnished with whipped cream and broken pizzelle cookies if desired. Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
You can download the printable PDF recipe here: Chocolate Chip Cannoli Pie