social spark Aisling Beatha: Traditional Puddings - Jam Roly Poly


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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Traditional Puddings - Jam Roly Poly

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Welcome to the next in my series of traditional pudding recipes.  Jam Roly Poly is one of the suet based steamed puddings, traditionally steamed over a pan of water on the stove.  This particular recipe is steamed for much less time, over a baking tin of water in the oven.

Full text recipe at the bottom of the post.

Oven on to 200c, 400f, Gas 6

You will need a baking tin (not a tray, it needs to hold water), with a rack over it.  I used my rack that sits IN the tin.

You will need a large piece of greaseproof paper or baking parchment.  Grease this all over with softened butter and make a pleat along the length of the paper.  You need to make the same pleat in a sheet of foil, but this does not need to be greased.

Gather your ingredients

Self raising flour (American readers can make your basic flour into S/R, there are plenty of sites online with instructions)
Caster sugar
Raspberry Jam
Suet (I am using vegetable, feel free to use the real thing if you have it)
Milk (or water)
(amounts in the text instructions at the bottom of the post)

Place your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  You can mix this by hand, but I decided to use my stand mixer, using both the main beater and the dough hook.

Mix the dry ingredients together well , then slowly add your milk or water, mixing as you go.

mix until it all comes together.

If mixing by hand, you now will knead the dough on a lightly floured board for a few minutes.  I switched to the dough hook and kneaded that way

I finished kneading by hand for a few moments to get it smoother.

Roll out your dough to about 8.5" by 13"

Spread your raspberry jam over the dough leaving a border of about 1/2 an inch.

Then roll up, from the short end.

Place this, seam side down onto your sheet of greaseproof paper.

Roll up, sealing tightly and twist the ends tightly like a Christmas cracker.

Then tie over the twists with kitchen string.  This is where I discovered that my kitchen string has apparently grown legs and walked away.  I could not find it anywhere.  So I gave the paper an extra tight twist and tucked the ends over when I wrapped it again with the sheet of foil.

Place this on the rack over your baking tin and pour boiling water into the baking tin to about halfway up the tin.  I presumed this meant if your rack lay over the top of the tin.  Since my rack sat IN the tin, I put the water until it just touched the bottom of the pudding.

Transfer this to the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Ah well . . .

We got ours out at 35 minutes

and began to remove the foil, the pudding was clearly not finished cooking.
We returned it to the oven for another 10 minutes.  This time we opened the greaseproof.  The pudding still wasn't quite done.  But it had now completely lost it's shape because of being unwrapped before being done, so we finished each portion off in the microwave.
I think that in my oven this needs AT LEAST 50 minutes.

So there you have it, Jam Roly Poly from the Hairy Bikers.
Was it good?  Well, the taste was great, but the texture was a bit dense in places.  This might have been due to finishing it off in the microwave.  It might have been due to the water actually touching the bottom of the pudding, or it might be that I am incredibly out of practice when it comes to working with suet.

The full text recipe is below.

Before you go, why not check out one of the other puddings in the traditional puddings series:

  1. Gingerbread
  2. Sticky Toffee Pudding
  3. Eve's Pudding
Or you can check out all my recipes at my recipes index page.

softened butter, for greasing
200g/7oz self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
100g/3½oz shredded suet
1 tbsp caster sugar
good pinch salt
150ml/5fl oz semi-skimmed milk or water
6–7 tbsp raspberry or strawberry jam

Preparation method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Butter a large sheet of greaseproof paper and set aside.
2. Stir the flour, suet, sugar and salt in a large bowl until well combined. Slowly stir in the milk or water to form a soft, spongy dough.
3. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Roll the dough out to a 22cm x 32cm/8½in x 13in rectangle.
4. Spread the jam onto the dough, leaving a 1.5cm/½in border. Gently roll the dough up from the short end and transfer to the greaseproof paper, seam-side down. Wrap the roly poly in the greaseproof paper, making a long pleat in the parchment to allow the pudding to expand as it cooks. Twist the ends of the parchment like a Christmas cracker and tie tightly with kitchen string, to seal the pudding inside.
5. Repeat the process with a large piece of aluminium foil.
6. Place the pudding onto a roasting rack set on a roasting tin. Pour boiling water into the roasting tin until the half full.
7. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
8. Remove the pudding from the oven, unwrap the aluminium foil, then snip the string and unwrap the paper.
9. The pudding should be well risen and lightly browned in places.  Don’t worry if the jam has made its way through to the outside of the pudding a little – it will taste all the more delicious.
10. Put on a board or serving plate and cut into thick slices. Serve with lots of hot custard or cream.


  1. My great aunt makes this for me and I love it with lashings of cream! Yum!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha @ Five Minutes for Me

  2. YUM!!!!

    Natasha xx


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