How to make Italian custard cream and cannoli shells.
For the custard cream filling:
In a large pot mix together milk, 1/2 of the vanilla bean and the peel of 1 lemon. *Be sure there is no white skin left on the peel, which adds a bitter taste.
Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil
Meanwhile, pour the egg yolks and sugar into a small bowl, and whisk together until the color begins to lighten
Sift flour and then mix into eggs until all lumps are gone.
When milk has come to a boil, remove the vanilla and lemon peel, and slowly pour about 1/4 cup of hot milk into egg and flour mixture. Mix well.
Transfer the egg mixture back into the pot of milk, stirring thoroughly.
Bring to a boil again for a couple of minutes.
Allow cream to cool entirely before piping.
For the shells:
Sift the flour, salt, cinnamon and granulated sugar.
Then mix in the butter and eggs with a fork.
Slowly add in the Marsala wine until the dough comes together.
Form it into a large ball and let it rise for 15 minutes.
Dust a cutting board with flour.
Roll out the dough until it is ¼ of an inch thick.
Roll out this dough and fold it into the shape of a cannoli shell. *You can also use cannoli forms to make this easier.
You then use the egg whites as a glue to hold the shell together.
Have about 3 cups of oil slightly boiling at 350 degrees.
Fry the shells one at a time for about one minute.
Then lightly remove them using tongs and let them sit.
Once the shells are prepared, you can begin to fill them.
Add custard cream into a piping bag and squeeze the filling into your shells.
Optional: Arrange cannolis on a plate and dust with icing sugar.