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Cannoli Filling without Cheese

From: Joanne 
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2011 11:58 PM
Subject: cannoli crème without ricotta or crème cheese

Here is one for you. My parents were born in San Cataldo, Italy. My Mom used to make a cannoli crème with eggs, milk, vanilla and I don’t know what else. 
Flour or corn starch. She was an old Italian that didn’t write anything down. 

Unfortunately she died before I learned to make this one or write it down. I’ve been searching and networking, but no one can help me. 
Perhaps it was just her version of the crème?? I know the “authentic crème is made with ricotta, but hers was to die for!!

Thank you in advance for trying! 


Hi Joanne,

While ricotta is used in the traditional cream filling used for cannoli, there are several extant recipes that use marscapone or cream cheese instead. I did find a recipe without any kind of cheese here:

Mom's Famous Cannoli Recipe

That person’s Mom also made a cannoli filling without any kind of cheese, so perhaps it is similar.

The recipe you want may not be called “cannoli crème” or “cannoli filling”. There are Italian crème fillings used as pastry fillings other than traditional cannoli fillings. Your Mom may have used one of these. “Crema di Latte” and “Pastacciera cream” are two, both containing milk.

There is a recipe for the latter here:

Pastacciera Cream

There are recipes for “crema di latte” below. It’s a sort of custard that’s sometimes used as a pastry filling. The recipes are all computer translations from Italian. I’ve no idea how much vanilla is in a “packet”. I presume the starch cakes are corn starch, although it isn’t stated.

Without a unique name for the filling your Mom used, I don’t see a plan of search other than just checking every page that comes up in Google with the words “cannoli filling”, “cannoli crème”, “cannoli cream” or “italian pastry cream” used as key words.

Even then, there’s no guarantee that a particular recipe is the same as your Mom’s.



1/2 ltr. Milk (2.1 cups)
100 gr. Icing sugar 
30 grams Starch (1 ounce)
peel of 1 lemon 
entire packet of vanilla 

Heat the milk with the vanilla, the lemon peel and sugar until it has dissolved without boiling, add the milk nell'amido (?) wire without lumps, cook over 
low heat stirring constantly, without boiling until the cream takes consistency. Remove lemon peel before eating.
1 liter of milk (4.23 cups)
160 grams starch cake (5.6 ounces)
A vanilla bean (if not use two drops of vanilla extract) 
100 grams of sugar (3.5 ounces)

Open the vanilla pod in half, helping you extract the contents with a knife, and set it aside. Heat up a bowl with 8 dl milk, sugar and vanilla bean emptied. 
Meanwhile, in the remaining milk, dissolve the starch and, in this mixture add the hot milk, after removing the vanilla pod. Put on the fire to low heat, 
add vanilla seeds, set aside earlier and, again stirring, to thicken the cream.

1 liter of milk (4.23 cups)
100 g of starch, sweet (3.5 ounces)
200 g sugar (7 ounces) 
2 egg yolks 
1 vanilla bean 
a piece of lemon peel 
a pinch of cinnamon. 

In a saucepan put the milk, sugar, egg yolks, starch, sweet, the vanilla pod, rind lemon and cinnamon and simmer for 15 minutes over low heat. 
Put the mixture in a form pudding and let cool to room temperature

5 dl milk (2.11 cups)
80 grams of starch cake (2.8 ounces)
100 grams of granulated sugar (3.5 ounces) 
Zest of 1 lemon. 

Heat 4 cups milk with sugar and lemon zest (yellow part only), washed well, then strain it and incorporate the remaining milk in which you have 
dissolved the starch. Place the mixture on the stove over low heat and let thicken. The custard can be used as a filling for cakes and other sweets. 
HI Phaed,

Thank you soo much! You were a big help. I didn’t even think to search under pastry crème rather than cannoli crème. Some of the recipes sound close. 
I actually tried one called Zeppole crème. Egg yolks, milk, sugar, corn starch, butter and almond extract or vanilla. This one was very good! 

Thanks again and I love your site!


Sassafras Apple Butter

From: Rexella
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 7:18 AM
Subject: Apple Butter

Good morning!  I have been searching and searching for an old Pa. Dutch Apple Butter recipe.  My family has been buying it in Pa. for years. 
For the past 2 years we have been unable to buy it, because the woman who made it no longer does.  We live in Va. and I would love to start making it.  
he one thing that makes it stand out above all others is that it has sassafras in it.  Please Help!  Thanks so much for your time.


Hi Rexella,

You can buy Pennsylvania Dutch Sassafras Apple Butter at these sites:

Bauman Family

Kitchen and Company

Kauffman's Fruit Farm

However, the only detailed recipe for it that I can find uses Pappy’s Sassafras Tea Concentrate. See here:
Glen Brook Farm That recipe seems to be sort of a short-cut recipe and does not claim any PA Dutch connection.

There is a sort of recipe, not very detailed, here under “Bucks County Apple Butter”: Bucks County Apple Butter

These were all that I could find. There were lots of Pennsylvania Dutch apple butter recipes, but not with sassafras. When sassafras is mentioned at all as a flavoring for apple butter, there are no specifics given, usually just statements that apple butter was sometimes flavored with sassafras.


Stuffed Crabs

Stuffed Crab like Copeland's 

1 1/2 oz. margarine
4 1/2 oz. chopped onion
1 1/2 oz. chopped bell pepper
1 oz. celery
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 1/2 oz. claw crabmeat
1/2 tsp. parsley
1 1/2 - 2 oz. bread crumbs
1 oz. chopped green onions 

Sauté onions, bell peppers, and celery until half done. Add garlic salt and cayenne and sauté until vegetables are translucent. 
Add claw meat, bread crumbs, parsley, and green onions. Mix thoroughly and stuff accordingly. Recommended either baked or fried. 

Smothered Chicken

Smothered Chicken like Bennigan's

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, thawed 
1 cup sliced onions 
1 cup sliced mushrooms 
1 teaspoon hickory smoke flavor 
3 tablespoons butter or margarine 
4 to 8 slices provolone cheese 
4 slices cooked bacon 
1 teaspoon basil leaves 
1 tablespoon garlic powder 
3 tablespoons hickory smoke flavoring 
1/4 cup white cooking wine 
1/4 cup vegetable oil 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
2 tablespoons vinegar 

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the last 8 ingredients. Mix together and stir well to blend. This will be the chicken marinade. 

Transfer the chicken marinade to a medium sized plastic bag. Ziploc works well. Add the chicken breasts to the bag and seal. 
Marinate the chicken by shaking the bag to mix and coat the chicken. Allow the chicken to soak and marinate for at least two hours, shaking occasionally. 

While chicken is marinating, slice onions and mushrooms and cook the bacon. Sauté mushrooms and onions in butter and hickory smoke flavor for about 
3 to 5 minutes, or until onions are transparent but not brown, and mushrooms are tender. 

After two hours, remove chicken from marinade, and grill for about 10 minutes. Take care not to overcook chicken. 
While the chicken is grilling, preheat the oven to a high broil. 

After the chicken is done grilling, remove from the grill and place in a shallow baking dish. Cover each breast with a strip of bacon, 
then provolone cheese, and then some sautéed onions and mushrooms. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly. Serve immediately from oven. 
Make 4 servings. 

Oven instructions: In you don’t have a grill, preheat the oven to broil. Broil the chicken, 5 to 7 inches from the broiler, for about 10 minutes. 
Watch the chicken to prevent burning. About 6 minutes into broiling, top chicken with bacon strips. Once the chicken and bacon is done, remove 
from the oven, top with cheese and mushroom/onion mixture. Then broil for 2-3 minutes more. Serve immediately from oven. 

The real thing:

Saw the copycat version of Bennigan's Smothered Chicken. Not close. Here's the real deal from their cookbook.

Bennigan's Smothered Chicken
Serves 4-6
6  four oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup sautéed mushrooms drained (Note: This is a separate recipe. See below)
1 1/2 cups sautéed onions, drained
6 one ounce slices Provolone cheese
2 tbsp minced parsley
Brush both sides of chicken breast lightly with oil. 
Place on medium heat section of broiler. 
Cook using a three turn-method for approximately 1 1/2 minutes on each side. 
Breast is done when firm to touch and white throughout. Total cook time 4-5 minuets.
Place breasts onto sheet pan and top each with 1/4 cup mushrooms and 1/4 cup onions. 
Cover each breast with one slice of cheese. Place in heated oven and melt cheese, approximately two minutes. 
Place on serving platter or individual plates. Sprinkle 1 tsp minced parsley over breasts and serve immediately. 
Sautéed Mushrooms
Serves four
1 lb fresh mushrooms
1 beef bouillon cube
2 tsp margarine
1/4 cup water
2 tbs burgundy wine
Wash mushrooms and slice  (including stems) 1/8 inch thick. Place margarine into fry pan and place over medium heat. 
While margarine is melting place bouillon cube and water in microwavable container and microwave for 30 seconds. 
Place mushrooms in margarine and cook for 3 minutes. Add warm water and wine and simmer for 5 minutes. 
Serve over steak, hamburgers, chicken or as a side dish. 

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