This Orange Cardamom Cannoli Cream Pie was something of a labor of love. It was a “labor” in the sense that we did tons of research about cannoli flavorings and ingredients to arrive at this recipe. And it was “love” in the sense that everyone in our house was happy to have lots of pie to sample.
We made this pie for the Coast Packing Company’s LardLovers recipe contest. Why lard? Researchers have found that lard and other animal fats have are better for you than artificially created trans fats. These fats undergo minimal processing and have virtually nothing added. Plus, they’re easy and flavorful to cook with, as anyone who has ever made a traditional pie crust knows.
Most lard pie crust recipes seem to call for a 1:3 lard-to-flour ratio. However, when we ran some test batches we liked our results better when it was just a smidge over 1:3. Hence the 5 ounces of lard for 1 1/2 cups of flour.
We also added Marsala wine, because it’s an ingredient frequently found in traditional cannoli shells. As for the filling, we stuck with traditional ricotta and added cream cheese to help give it some structure. The orange and cardamom were just an inspiration we had to create one of our favorite winter flavor combinations.
Orange Cardamom Cannoli Cream Pie
A luscious creamy pie with a tender and flaky lard-based crust.
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt (scant)
- 5 ounces lard (chilled)
- 1 tbsp Marsala wine
- 3 tbsp ice water
For the filling
- 8 ounces heavy cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp grated orange rind (about two oranges' worth)
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- whipped cream
- orange slices
- crushed pistachios
For the crust:
Mix together the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut the lard into the flour mixture until it is evenly mixed and resembles large crumbs.
Add the Marsala wine and then add the water, one tablespoon at at time. The dough should be just wet enough to hold together. Shape it into a ball and chill it for one hour.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out onto a lightly floured pastry board. Gently press it into a 9" pie pan. Trim any odd-sized pieces away from the edges. Fold the outer edge under and crimp that folded edge in a fluted pattern. Refrigerate crust for 20 more minutes.
Prick several holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork. Place parchment paper over the crust and weigh it down with pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees; then remove the paper and bake for 10 more minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
For the filling:
In an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the ricotta, orange rind, cardamom, and powdered sugar and mix well until combined. Fold in the whipped cream. Pour the mixture into the baked pie crust. Chill for 3 to 4 hours.
Top with (optional) whipped cream, orange slices, and pistachios before serving.
1) Use cold lard. Just use it as you would use butter for a pie crust. It helps if you cut it into small pieces before you begin blending it with the flour.
2) Give the pie plenty of time to chill before you serve it.
3) Don’t be afraid to pile on the toppings. Our crowd was especially happy about the orange slices and crushed pistachios.
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