Italian Cannoli Ice – A Homemade Summer Treat
Italian Cannoli Ice – New York Slush
One of my family’s favorite frozen treat, besides the Italian Lemon Ice, is the Italian Cannoli Ice made with ricotta. This is an original recipe that took me a few tries to get the right consistency and taste.
August is the hottest month of the summer! The oppresive heat forces us to cool off by stay indoors with the air-conditioning cranked up high. We cool ourselves off with an icy cold beverage, or indulge in a sweet frozen treat. Of course, there is always a dip in the pool or a trip to the beach, but not everyone can enjoy these activities everyday.
The Bronx summer’s heat and humidity were unbearable which is still true today. As a kid, I remember evening temperatures of almost 90 degrees during our heat waves. Some things just never change. I remember lying in bed, with an oscillating fan barely cooling my bedroom, daydreaming about the family summer vacation to the shore. I did not have air-conditioning in my bedroom, therefore a fan had to suffice. When we finally did get air conditioning, one unit went in my parents’ bedroom and the other in the living room. However, I did camp out in the living room when it was just way too hot to sleep.
An Icy Delicious Treat
On a typical hot and muggy evening, in the hopes of catching a breeze, I would sit on the stoop with my best friend for a few hours after dinner until nightfall. Once the streetlights turned on, it was our cue to head home for the night. Occasionaly we would buy an icy treat from the ice cream truck that came around after dinner around 7:00 pm and then again around 9:00 pm. Sometimes we would get ice cream and other times an Italian ice.
As my friend and I grew older, we would walk up to the closest neighborhood bakery for their store-made Italian ices. Sometimes we bought chocolate or cherry ices; other times lily with nuts. Enjoying an Italian ice as we walked back to our stoop helped cool us off before we had to go back up to our hot bedrooms.
There are so many types of treats to enjoy during the summer months. For example, fresh fruits, ice cream, gelato, sorbet, and the classic Sicilian granita known to us in New York City as Italian ice. You can find packaged Italian ices in the freezer section of your local supermarket. Luigis or Marinos are some of the best known store brands, but fresh made Italian ice is a wonderful treat. They are great every now and then especially if you are entertaining guests. The Italian Ice consists of water, sugar, and flavorings. Cities across the country call this ice treat by many other names—water ice, snow cone, etc.
Over the years, we have seen popular ice cream manufacturers introduce new flavors. There is always something new to try whether it’s a drink, a food, or a treat. New creations of various dishes and desserts are always introduced using a part of one recipe and some of another for a totally new taste. For example, one bakery favorite in my family is the cannoli pastry. The smooth cream, the chocolate chips—Yum!!! Within the past ten to fifteen years, I have seen many new creations using cannoli cream as an ingredient whether it’s cannoli cheesecake, cannoli ice cream, cannoli gelato—you get the point.
A Homemade Original Italian Ice Recipe
Many years ago, I came across cannoli Italian ice. How clever! Putting two favorites together—cannoli and Italian ice. This quickly became my family’s favorite. To our disappointment the local bakery changed their recipe. Determined to find a recipe to make at home I searched for a cannoli ice recipe on the internet but couldn’t find one. Then it hit me—create your own recipe! That’s exactly what I did. I have shared with you my own version of a cannoli Italian ice which I call Tessa’s New York Slush Italian ice. I have created a basic recipe with options for a few add-ins as well as some modifications to the recipe for a healthier version. Make it and enjoy it with family and friends.
Don’t forget to try the Lemon Italian Ice recipe, it’s another treat that will keep you cool in the hot weather
Ingredients for Simple Syrup
Ingredients for Cannoli Mixture
Optional Add-ins (Add very little or no add-ins for the lighter version)
In a large saucepan, heat 3 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar (or honey) until the sugar or honey dissolves.
In a mixing bowl, add 1 cup of ricotta and ¼ cup of confectioner’s sugar (or ¼ cup of honey). Mix well.
In a blender or food processer, add cannoli cream mixture and blend for about a minute.
Remove pan from freezer. Using a fork or spoon, scrape the cannoli ice away from the pan until all the ice is loosened. You may need to chop larger ice pieces.