Jam Roly Poly

Sunday 12 March 2017

I never make a Jam Roly Poly for dessert but what I don't think of one of my favourite childhood stories, The Tale of Samuel Whiskers and the Roly Poly Pudding by Beatrix Potter. Its kind of a gruesome story really when you think about it . . . rats capturing an innocent little kitten and rolling him up in pudding dough to bake and eat . . .  it sent shivers up my spine at the thought.  A tale really of a lesson learned about the perils of disobedience and the consquences which follow!

The whole of my childhood I wondered what a Roly Poly Pudding was.  It wasn't until I moved over here that I discovered that it was in fact a delicious old fashioned suet pudding that was baked with jam rolled up in the middle and not kittens!

The dough is very similar to a biscuit dough, made using vegetable suet. You could, of course, grate frozen vegetable shortening in its place, if you cannot find vegetable suet.

I like to use raspberry jam in this, but strawberry would work equally as well.  Just be sure to run a fork through it to loosen it up as it becomes a lot easier to spread and prevents the risk of you tearing the dough as you spread it with the jam.

This is one of Todd's favourite desserts, and not the least because it reminds him of the delicious puddings he had when he was at school and got to enjoy school dinners.  

A bit stodgy, yes  . . .  quite old fashioned, yes . . . comforting, yes . . . delicious, yes!

Mind you, Todd is always very happy with any dessert which comes accompanied with custard.  He love, LOVES custard . . . 

And this pudding begs to be served up with lashings of warm custard.  The two just go together like peas and carrots or gravy and mashed potatoes!

*Jam Roly Poly*
with Custard
Serves 4 

I never bake this but what I think about that Beatrix Potter story about Tom Kitten and the Roly Poly Pudding.  No worries, no kittens have been harmed in the making of this simple old fashioned and delicious pudding! 

For the pudding:
160g self raising flour (1 cup plus 3 TBS)
40g caster sugar (3 1/2 TBS)
75g shredded vegetable suet (5 1/2 TBS)
1 medium free range egg, beaten
2 TBS milk
125g raspberry jam (1/2 cup)

For the custard:
the yolks of 3 medium free range eggs
60g caster sugar (5 TBS)
1 tsp corn flour (corn starch)
200ml whipping cream (3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 TBS)
200ml whole milk (3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 TBS)
1 vanilla pod, cut in half

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Butter the top side of a sheet of baking parchment. Set aside. 

Sift the flour into a bowl. Measure in the sugar, and milk. Stir with a fork. Add a pinch of salt. Stir in the beaten egg and milk, to make a stiff dough. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle which measures 8 by 12 inches in size. Fork through the jam to loosen it and then spread it over the dough, leaving a 3/4 inch border all the way around. Roll the dough up tightly, as per a jelly roll, from long side to long side. Pinch each end to seal. Place on top of the buttered paper. Roll the paper up around it, twisting th ends. Wrap again in aluminium foil and place onto a baking tray. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. 

While the roly poly is cooking, make the custard. Whisk the eggs yolks, sugar, and cornflour together in a bowl. Place the whipping cream, milk and vanilla pod into a saucepan and heat just until bubbles appear all around the edges. Pour into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Remove the vanilla pod and discard. (I like to dry it and then stick it into my sugar jar where it flavours the sugar.) Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over a very gentle heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Do not let it boil or it will curdle. 

Slice the roly poly crosswise into rounds and serve in bowls along with the warm custard. 


 I really hope you won't let the simplicity of this fabulous deter you from making it.  In fact, it is the simplicity of it all that makes it so very delicious!  Bon appetit!


  1. I don't know where you are finding the time to do the book..3 blogs:) Todd..Spring..etc!!

    1. That's why I get up at 5 every morning Monique! Not finding time for much else however! And the writing has been a great blessing for me while Todd is at the hospital! xoxo

  2. I've always wanted to make a roly poly! I wasn't sure what it was, but it was in all the British books I read. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Yay Katrina! Now you know you can bake one! xo

  3. I'm not a jam fan -- heresy, I know -- but you are making me reconsider. Hugs to you and Todd!

  4. We love jam in this house Carol. It is a very rare treat for me however because of the diabetes and then I try to use low sugar. Not the same though. Bless you! xoxo

  5. Traditionally we cook the pudding by steaming it . I like it better steamed as it’s soft and delicious rather than biscuits

    1. This particular recipe called for baking it. I will probably try a steamed version at some time!


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