By Esther Boateng
A generation of Brits grew up with Jam Roly Poly, an old-fashioned classic “pudding,” which is a simple flour-based pudding made with suet or tallow (more on this later) and your favorite jam. In the U.S., this type of dessert is typically referred to as a “jelly roll” or “Swiss roll,” a type of thin sponge cake spread with jam or frosting, then rolled into a spiral before serving.
If you want to stick with tradition, wrap the pudding in greaseproof paper and steam it in the oven, or if you prefer to keep things simple, place it on a baking tray and bake it. Either way, you’ll end up with a thick slice of Jam Roly Poly that tastes great paired with wonderfully creamy homemade custard.
You’ll notice most recipes call for dry suet. This might be tricky to get your hands on, in which case, you can use tallow, like I did. The consistency will be different: for a start, it’s not dry, and it doesn’t come from a packet, but it’s pretty much the same ingredient, just in a different form; it looks like a jar of coconut oil. If you use it at room temperature, you’ll be able to scoop it straight from the jar, blend it with the flour, add a touch of water, or milk, if that’s your preference, and combine it to make your dough. Yep, it’s that straightforward.
If you have strawberry chia jam in the fridge prepared ahead of time, this will cut down on prep. Also, you won’t need to wait for your homemade jam to cool down before you can use it. You can also use a store bought one. Just be mindful to pick a brand that doesn’t contain too much sugar. Plum, blueberry, raspberry or strawberry jams are great choices.
I prefer to eat this pudding when it’s warm, with homemade custard. And no, you don’t have to be a trained chef to make smooth, tasty custard. If you follow the recipe and remember to stir ferociously for a few minutes, your hard work will pay off. I like to add a spoonful of colostrum powder at the end for added nutrition, but this is entirely optional. If you have vanilla powder or fresh vanilla pods, this will also heighten the taste.