How to Fill Cannoli | The 3 most Famous Recipes | Part 2

In the last two recipes, you learned how to cook a perfect authentic crunchy crust "cozza"(link here | Cannoli crust) and how to fill them in the traditional way (link here | Ricotta filling).

Actually, locals use to eat and fill cannoli many other ways. Mostly, because Sicily offers the best pistachio, almonds and citrus in the world.

2. Pastry Cream (Crema Pasticcera) Filling

La Crema Pasticcera (Pastry Cream or Custard) is one of the most famous fillings. There are two main versions of it: the CLASSIC version or the LIGHT one.

Ingredients (15 servings):

  • Whole Milk 1lt | 33.8 oz ( LIGHT VERSION 1/2 water and 1/2 skim milk)

  • Starch 170 gr | 6 oz

  • Sugar 200 gr | 7 oz

  • Eggs yolk 4

  • Olive Oil or Butter 50 gr | 1.8 oz (I personally prefer Olive Oil)

  • 1 Organic Lemon zest (the whole peel, not grated)


  1. Make the egg-sugar base: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, and eggs yolk.

  2. Add Starch. The mixture tends to clump, to prevent this, add gradually the milk (water and milk for the light version).

  3. Put the custard in a pan and add lemon zest. Then set the pan over a low heat and whisk constantly. At first, the pastry cream will look very thin and frothy, but it will start to thicken after a few minutes.

  4. Eventually, eliminate foam with a spoon. When you reach a creamy texture remove the pan from the heat.

  5. Remove immediately the lemon zest otherwise, your cream will become bitter.

  6. While it is still warm add butter or olive oil. This will give to the custard a creamy and soft texture and will prevent from jelly ones.

Fill Cannolo with a teaspoon, sprinkle with powder sugar and add to the extremities chopped almonds, chopped hazelnuts, chopped chocolate or chopped pistachios.

3. Giovanna's Cream | Traditional recipe by Salvo's Mom

Every mom in Sicily has her own recipe, passed down from generations and refined by experience. Giovanna's Cream is definitely my favorite. Because it is the perfect balance between the Classic and the Crema Pasticcera ones. If you love Ricotta and Crema pasticcera this recipe is the heaven, because ricotta strong irresistible flavor is softened by the delicate Cream flavor.

This picture was taken this summer, at Giovanna's home. It is a typical Sicilian summer breakfast (when we don't eat granita with brioches)! If you look carefully there are Sicilian Organic Walnuts, Fresh figs just harvest from the tree, Almond Milk (made by Giovanna with the traditional recipe and Pizzuta D'Avola almonds), Homemade Iced Tea (that she does every Sunday morning for her sons), Cannoli filled with Giovanna's cream, ready to be sparkled with toasted almond and "pani ri casa" (handmade bread that we love eating " with fruit, honey or marmalade)!

Almond shop link (our Almonds are RAW and IMPORTED DIRECTLY from ITALY)

GIOVANNA'S CREAM Instructions:

  1. Mix 3 tablespoons of Crema Pasticcera (point 2 of this post) with Classic ricotta Cream (link here).

  2. Add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and mix until well combined.

  3. Then the last trick is to use toasted almonds for the extremities! The flavor of toasted almonds will boost the Giovanna's Cream taste! So place almonds in a pan over medium heat or in the oven at 350F until they become slightly brown inside.

  4. Let the almonds get cold, then coarsely chop.

  5. Fill cannolo with a teaspoon, sprinkle with powder sugar, add toasted chopped almonds.

  6. Most important, enjoy with your loved ones!

4. Pistachio Cream

Sicilian Pistacchio (Pistachio) is one of the best Pistacchio in the world. Its intense gentle sweet flavor and grassy aroma comes from the mineral rich volcanic soil. In fact, Bronte is situated in Province of Catania in the Southwest slope of Etna Volcano. (here 5 Things to know about Bronte Pistachios).

Ingredients (12 servings) :

  • Ricotta 500 gr | 17.6 oz

  • Pistachio Cream (shop it) 5 tablespoons

  • Powder Sugar 120 gr | 4,2 oz

  • Cinnamon 1 tablespoon

  • chopped Pistachios 12 tablespoons


  1. Sift ricotta cheese

  2. Mix well ricotta with powdered sugar, cinnamon and pistachio cream.

  3. Fill cannoli with a teaspoon, sprinkle with powdered sugar, then add chopped pistachio.

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