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.
Beetifuel Jam Roly Poly
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup shredded dry suet or tallow
Pat of butter/ghee for greasing the baking tray
1/4 cup sweetener of choice
1/3 + cup cold water
Pinch of salt
Approximately 5 Tbsp high quality jam - enough to spread over cake
(see blueberry chia jam recipe below or use your favorite brand)
Milk, for brushing the dough
1-2 cups of organic blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 Tbsp. Dr. Cowan’s Garden Three-Beet Powder
1 Tsp. Dr. Cowan’s Garden Carrot Powder
6-8 Tbsp. chia pudding (water and chia seeds soaked for 30 minutes or overnight)
2 Tbsp. honey or sweetener of choice
1 tsp. vanilla essence
2 cups full fat milk
3 Tbsp. + sweetener of choice
1 Tbsp. vanilla essence
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. colostrum powder (optional)
Dash of ground nutmeg (optional)
Dash of ground cinnamon (optional)
Ingredients for Roly Poly
Ingredients for Blueberry Chia Jam
Ingredients for Custard
Instructions for Roly Poly
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Grease a baking tray with ghee.
- Sift flour into a bowl and add salt.
- Add suet or tallow, sweetener, a bit of water, and combine until you get a soft dough. Continue to add water until you reach your desired consistency. Your aim is to get a soft dough that’s not too sticky.
- Roll the dough out on a floured board in a rectangle shape roughly 20cm x 30cm and 1cm thick. If you need to trim the edges with a knife to tidy it up that’s perfectly fine.
- Spread the jam (see instructions for jam below) over the rectangle, leaving a 1cm border around the edges. Brush the edges with milk. (Note: If using store bought jam, add the Three-beet and Carrot powders from the blueberry chia jam recipe to the store bought jam and mix thoroughly.)
- Start from the short side and roll the dough up into a log. Lightly pinch the edges.
- Transfer the log onto the baking tray folded side down.
- Brush with egg and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
- Serve topped with custard (see instructions below).
Instructions for Blueberry Chia Jam
- Add the blueberries and honey to a saucepan and simmer over medium heat. Stir occasionally.
- After 10-15 minutes, add 2 spoonfuls of chia seeds, or chia pudding, and stir.
- Mash lightly and break down the blueberries.
- Bring to a gentle boil and cook for about 10 minutes or until it turns into a liquid.
- Add the Three-Beet Powder, Carrot Powder, and vanilla essence.
- If you want a thicker consistency, add more chia seeds/chia pudding.
- Taste the jam for sweetness and adjust it to suit your taste.
- When you are satisfied with the sweetness and consistency, remove from the heat and let cool.
Instructions for Custard
- Separate the egg yolks and put them in a stainless mixing bowl or double boiler with your sweetener of choice.
- Beat until creamy.
- Pour two cups of milk into a separate pan, add vanilla extract and colostrum (optional), and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove and set aside.
- Fill a large saucepan or bottom half of the double boiler halfway with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it gently simmer.
- Cover the saucepan with the bowl of creamy egg yolk mixture, ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
- Lower the heat so the water in the large pan doesn’t splutter.
- Let the bowl sit over the steam bath of water as you gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture in small batches.
- Whisk until slightly thickened.
- To test if the custard is ready, dip a wooden spoon halfway into the custard, and draw a line on the back of the spoon with your finger. If the line remains, this means the custard is ready.
- Add a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon, do one last taste test, stir, and serve.
If you don’t have self-rising flour, you can make your own. Use 1 cup of organic all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt.