If you were to ask for a cannoli filling recipe from five different Italian women, you, will most likely, get five different recipes. Then, each will proceed to tell you, without any hesitation, that her's is the authentic one! Even in Italy, you will find variations from province to province and even household to household.
First, I should tell you that my Nonna, born in 1899, made her filling with full-cream ricotta that she bought very fresh from a local purveyor. I have not found this product in my area. Even my Nonna, later in her life, had trouble finding the whole cream variety of her earlier years, so she began to add a little cream to her recipe when it was no longer available. What she began using, and I still do, is whole milk ricotta.
3/4 C whole milk ricotta (don't buy the cheap stuff. You may want to taste a couple of your local brands first before using it in a recipe or for guests.
3/4 heavy whipping cream
1/2 C powdered sugar (to taste)
1/2-1 T vanilla (grated orange zest is good as an alternative)
sliced almonds - toasted (optional)
grated chocolate (optional)
Add the vanilla to cream and whisk both into the ricotta. Add powdered sugar ad whisk again. (Hand mixer works well, too, if you don't have an electronic whisk), Cover and chill for a couple of hours (up to half a day) before serving.
Spoon topping over cut up berries or other fruit and sprinkle with almonds and/or chocolate, if using. Serves 6-8, depending upon six of servings and appetites!