A few months ago, for some strange reason, Mick and I were reminiscing about junior (elementary) school lunches. Back when we were kids, school lunches were really good, absolutely no fried or fast food, just good wholesome grub. But it wasn’t really the main courses that we remembered so much as the puddings (desserts). One thing we both agreed on was that jam roly-poly was one of our favorites. It was obviously the same for the other kids at school, ‘cos if second helpings were in the offing, one could get killed in the rush.
Anyway, I decided to have a go at making jam roly-poly. And I must say, that it’s a good thing I’ve lost my sweet tooth, because if I was to make stuff like this all the time I’d be built like a house-side. I did cheat with the custard, and used Bird’s Custard Powder, which while better than the instant stuff, isn’t as good as homemade.
And another thing, it’s Saint. George’s Day today (he’s the patron Saint of England, in case you didn’t know), and what better way to celebrate it than with a traditional English pud!
You can find Bird’s Custard Powder here:
And the Atora Vegetable Suet here:
The recipe I used is from Brian Turner’s book, Favourite British Recipes. It was actually a recipe for Spotted Dick (no, I am not making that up!). Spotted Dick is basically the same pudding except that it’s filled with currants and raisins instead of jam.
Jam Roly-Poly and Custard
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
½ cup vegetable suet (the book uses beef suet but that isn’t available in the US)
Approx. ½ cup water
Approx. ½ cup raspberry jam
- Pre-heat oven to 400F
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together, then rub in the suet. Add the water gradually and mix to a dough.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into 10 x 6-inch rectangle. Spread the dough with a thin layer of jam leaving a ½ inch border. Don’t spread the jam too thickly or it will ooze out when you roll it up. Brush the border with water.
- Turn the two short edges in and seal, then roll up carefully from a long side.
Rinse a clean kitchen cloth in boiling water and wring out. Sprinkle cloth with flour and shake off the excess. Roll the pudding in the cloth and tie the ends with string.
- Set the pudding on a rack in a roasting pan, add water to the pan, just enough that the water isn’t touching the pud. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven to steam for about 2 hours. Top up water occasionally, as you do not want the pan to boil dry.
NOTE: Exercise extreme caution when removing the pudding from the oven.
Serve hot with custard sauce – it must be custard, I will accept no substitutes. :-)
2 cups milk.
3 large eggs.
1 tablespoon cornstarch.
2 tablespoons sugar.
½ tsp. vanilla extract.
- Reserve 4 tablespoons of milk and put remainder in a saucepan. Heat to just below boiling point.
- In a medium sized bowl mix cornstarch with a little cold water to form a smooth paste. Add eggs, sugar and reserved milk and whisk until smooth. Add hot milk to mixture and whisk together.
- Return mixture to the saucepan and cook over a medium low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens. Stir in vanilla extract.
- Serve hot over jam roly-poly.