It’s summertime in Illinois, which can only mean one thing: blue moon ice cream season. The flavor of blue moon is pretty hotly debated across foodie sites, but this one most closely resembles the flavor of the ice cream I grew up loving. With lemon, raspberry, and vanilla extracts as well as vanilla pudding mix, blue moon’s berry-citrus vanilla flavor is at the same time bitter, sweet, and slightly malty. The tubular translation of my favorite ice cream into my favorite dessert is adapted from Food.com. I used shells that I made the previous week, which I will hopefully feature in my next post.
scant 1/4 c. White chocolate chips
parchment paper OR
a tupperware lid and either a plastic sandwich bag or plastic wrap
Put the sugar pearls in a bowl that can adequately accommodate the size of your cannoli ends, as you will be dipping them into the decorations later. Lay a piece of parchment paper to the side or a tupperware lid that is large enough to fit all of your cannoli. Either place the lid in a plastic bag so that both sides are covered or if it is too large, wrap it in plastic wrap. This will prevent the wet chocolate from sticking. Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave at 70% power in fifteen second intervals until they just begin to melt. If you overcook them, they will turn brown on the bottom and clump into a frustrating and irreparable mass. This has happened to me many, many times with white chocolate, so pay close attention while your chips are in the microwave. Stir with a fork until the chocolate is glossy and fully liquified. Dip each end of your cannoli into the warm chocolate, then dunk each end in the sugar pearls until the chocolate is mostly covered. Place on either the parchment paper or the plastic bag/wrapped covered tupperware lid. Let rest until the chocolate has hardened before you fill them (you can speed up the process by placing them in the fridge for a few minutes).
Blue Moon Cannoli Filling
8 oz. ricotta
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. raspberry extract
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
3 tsp. instant vanilla pudding
1/4 tsp. Curacao
Confectioner’s sugar to taste (for me, 3 Tbsp + 1 tsp.)
1/8 tsp. royal blue food gel (Wilton’s)
This recipe should fill about 6 cannoli, depending on the size of your shells. Mine were slightly smaller than usual.
Mix extracts and ricotta. Add 3 tsp. of vanilla pudding mix and incorporate into the ricotta until no (or virtually no) lumps are visible. Add Curacao. This will change the color of the ricotta to a slight blue (Yay!) but you will need to help out the hue in a bit with some food coloring. First though, add the confectioner’s sugar until the filling meets your sweetness needs. Lastly, slowly add the 1/8 tsp. blue food coloring or gel. I dip a toothpick into my gel container and dip it into the ricotta, stir it until the color is evenly distributed, then add more depending on whether or not the color is correct. Like giving cannoli to a friend, it’s much easier to add than to take away. Don’t get discouraged if your ricotta looks green, just keep at it. Once you reach that perfect shade of light blue, you can either fill your shells right away or store it in your fridge until you are ready to enjoy it. I used a ziplock bag and a star tip (Wilton’s) to pipe my filling into my shells, but a butter knife (or grapefruit spoon if you’re in a pinch!) works just as well.
In true blue moon fashion, fill the shells and top with whipped cream and a cherry. Serve them in an ice cream dish. Enjoy!