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Jam Roly Poly Pudding

July 24, 2012 | Filed under Dessert

Willy’s request for the recipe for Roly Poly Pudding had all of us scrambling for our old recipe books. We all remembered Roly Poly Pudding but we had to think hard about where might find the recipe now.

In our search we found various versions of Roly Poly Pudding but then we found this recipe in an old Edmonds Cookery Book. 

Given the role of Edmonds and their Cookery Book in the history of New Zealand cuisine, I’m sure this is the recipe Willy remembers.

It is cooked in the traditional way in a pudding cloth.  If you don’t want to try this we have given a couple of alternative cooking methods at the end of this recipe.  The pudding cloth method can be a bit tricky because if you wrap it too tightly the pudding won’t be able to rise and will be stodgy and if you don’t wrap it tightly enough the dough can spread to fill the space and you will have a flattish pudding rather than a roll.ed cylindrical shape.  This is something I’m sure our mothers and grandmothers perfected over time.


(Original measurements used – with modern equivalent in brackets on the right)

½ lb flour             (225gms)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ lb suet              (100 gms)
1 raised teaspoon baking powder (2 level tsp)
cold water to mix


  1. Sift flour baking powder and salt into a large bowl
  2. Stir in the grated suet with a knife using a chopping motion
  3. Mix to a stiff dough with cold water. The dough should be sticky but not flaky and not too much dry flour left that is not mixed in
  4. Roll the pastry into an oval shape about ¼ inch (1 cm) thick
  5. Spread the jam over the dough leaving about ½ inch (2cm) around the edges
  6. Brush the edges with cold water and roll up the dough lengthways
  7. Seal the join by gently pinching the edges together along the length of the rolled up dough. Seal the ends in the same way to stop the jam running out during cooking.
  8. Scald and flour a pudding cloth (an old tea towel with no holes will work)
  9. Put the dough in the cloth and ties the ends of the cloth leaving room for the pudding to expand as it cooks.
  10. Place the pudding in a large saucepan of boiling water and boil for two hours.

Cut into thick slices and serve with Edmonds custard.

Alternative cooking methods

1  Baked jam roly poly pudding

Heat the oven to 180°

Place the rolled up pudding on a greased oven tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned

2  Oven steamed jam roly poly pudding

Heat the oven to 180°

Half fill a roasting dish with water and carefully place dish on the bottom shelf of the oven

Take a large sheet each of cooking foil and of greaseproof or baking paper

Grease the baking paper and place on top of the foil

Wrap the roly poly loosely in the baking paper and foil and scrunch the ends of the foil together to seal the ‘parcel’. The roly poly will expand during cooking so don’t wrap it too tightly

Lift the parcel directly onto the rack above the tin and cook for 1 hr

Let the pudding sit for 5 minutes before unwrapping, then carefully open the foil and paper, and thickly slice to serve.



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