This is something I had probably every Sunday when I was a kid. It was a ritual to stop at the bakery after church and pick up an assortment of goodies.
I found a kit for them years ago and started making them at home. They are time consuming, but oh so worth it.
This is one recipe that I have not cut the sugar in. If you stuff the shells to long before you serve them thy become soggy.
Set out six 6-inch Aluminum tubes about 3/4 inch in diameter
Filling: Combine and beat until smooth and creamy with an electric mixer on medium-high speed.
3 cups Ricotta cheese
1¼ cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Stir in, mix thoroughly ½ cup finely chopped candied citron
¼ cup semi-sweet small chocolate chips
Place in the refrigerator to chill.
Shells: Sift together into a bowl
3 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
Cut in with pastry blender until pieces are the size of small peas: 2 Tbsp butter
2 eggs, well beaten
Blend in, a tablespoon at a time:
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp cold water
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead. Wrap in waxed paper and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Set out a deep saucepan or automatic deep fryer for deep frying and heat to 360 degrees. From cardboard, cut an oval pattern 6” x 4½“. Blanch, finely chop and set aside ¼ to 1/2 cup pistachio nuts.
Roll chilled dough to 1/8 inch thick on floured surface. With cardboard pattern and pastry cutter, cut ovals from dough. Wrap dough loosely around tubes just lapping over opposite edges. Seal by brushing with egg whit, slightly beaten. Press together to seal.
Fry only as many shell as will float uncrowded on layer deep in fat. Fry eight minutes or until golden brown. Drain fat from tubes before removing. Place on absorbent paper. Cool slightly before removing tubes.
Cool completely before filling. Do not fill until ready to serve. When ready to serve, fill with ricotta filling, sprinkle ends with chopped pistachio nuts and dust shells with sifted confectioners sugar.
— Barbara Rexford