Cartocci Siciliani Recipe

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Cartocci Siciliani Recipe

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Adjust Servings:
Recipe for 11 cartocci
500 g Flour
50 g Lard
8 g Table salt
1 Hen egg
250 ml Whole milk Warm
50 g Sugar
3 g Brewer's yeast Dry
1.5 L Peanut oil
For filling
400 g Ricotta Dry
200 g Sugar
80 g Dark chocolate chips
For covering
Sugar Just enough
To grease the pan
Peanut oil Just enough

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  • Recipe for 11 cartocci

  • For filling

  • For covering

  • To grease the pan



Are you familiar with Sicilian cartocci? They are also known as macallè and are soft brioche dough cannoli, filled with delicious ricotta cream that is enriched with tasty chocolate chips. These sweets can be found all over the island, but their origin is Palermo, and the time when Sicilians love to consume them is during breakfast.

In fact, if you have been to Sicily you will have noticed that in the morning there is no bar, bakery or rotisserie that does not display cartocci in the window. During my travels in this marvelous land I have gorged on them, so I decided to prepare them at home, to once again enjoy a dessert that is a true pampering that is impossible to resist!

If you ask a Sicilian, he will tell you that cartocci cannot be baked in the oven but must be strictly fried, yet I confess that I have tried even the lightest baking and the yield of these sweets won me over even so.

Be sure to remember that the filling should rest in the refrigerator until it is ready to be filled, which should be done when the cartocci have just cooled. Look at them and tell me-what would you give to be able to bite into these wonders? So come on, let’s get to the stove. We’ll have to be a little patient but the result will lead us straight to sweet tooth heaven!

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To prepare the fried cartocci start with the filling, which will need to rest in the refrigerator about 4h. Drain the ricotta to remove excess water, then sieve it in a fine-mesh strainer (Picture 1) mashing the ricotta with a ladle so that all lumps are removed and a smooth cream is obtained, add the sugar (picture 2) and mix well with the help of a ladle until a creamy mixture is obtained. Do not add the chocolate chips now, but only at the end, otherwise they will melt into the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 4 hours.


Now prepare the dough: in a large bowl put the sifted flour together with the sugar (picture 4), add the egg (picture 5) and beat lightly with a fork. Dissolve the dry brewer's yeast (alternatively you can use 12 g of fresh brewer's yeast) in 125 ml of warm milk (picture 6)...


...And add this to the dough as well (Picture 7). Melt the lard in a bain-marie or microwave and also dissolve the salt in the remaining 125 ml milk (Picture 8). Add the salt with the milk and last of all the melted lard (Picture 9). Knead everything with a fork and add flour if needed.


When the dough is firmer, start kneading with your hands (Picture 10). Transfer the dough to a pastry board and continue kneading until smooth and firm (Picture 11). This will take about 15 minutes. If you have a planetary mixer, start incorporating the ingredients with the leaf and then replace it with the dough hook. Place the dough in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap (Picture 12), let it rise in an oven with the light off for about 2 h...


..or at any rate until the dough has doubled its initial volume (Picture 13). Now take a tray that is to hold the fried cartocci, cover it with a sheet of baking paper and brush the baking paper with oil (Picture 14). Take the traditional cannoli form tubes (Picture 15);


if you do not have traditional Cannoli Form Tubes empty inside, you can make the tubes by rolling a sheet of aluminum foil about 12 cm wide (picture 16) until you reach a diameter of 2 cm (picture 17). After this time has elapsed, divide the dough into pieces of about 70 g each and form a 30 cm long string with your hands (picture 18).


Take the string and roll it over the tube, overlapping the ends so as to secure the dough (picture 19) (you can use a tube like a cannoli tube or one with straight cuts), trying to make at least three turns around the tube (picture 20). When you twist the string around the tube, you should not pull the dough at all, but twist it around the tube gently and taking care to leave half an inch of space on either side; during the rising phase, the cartoccio will cover that space as well. Place the cartocci on the tray lined with baking paper and brushed with oil (picture 21). Cover the cartocci with clingfilm and let them rise for about 1 hour more, again, in a turned-off oven with the light on.


After this time has elapsed, the cartocci will have increased in volume (picture 22). Now proceed with frying (fried cartocci cannot be baked in the oven). Place the oil in a tall pan with a diameter of 22 cm and heat it (you will need about 1 1/2 liters of oil), it is important that the oil temperature does not exceed 170° C. Fry the cartocci, dipping them into the pan with tongs and turning them often; remove them when they are brown, but not burned. For each cartoccio, 6-7 minutes of cooking time will be sufficient (pictures 23-24).


Place them on a sheet of paper towels to remove excess oil (picture 25) and let them cool, remove the tube by rotating them slightly. Take the ricotta filling and now incorporate the dark chocolate chips (picture 26). Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle (picture 27),


Stuff the cartocci (picture 28) and coat them in granulated sugar (picture 29) to make them even tastier. Your fried cartocci are now ready to be enjoyed (picture 30).


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