Jam Roly Poly

November 28, 2014

Jam Roly Poly, the very name takes me back to my childhood. School dinners were usually somewhat gruesome affairs, with plenty of unidentifiable main courses that were not be be eaten. The saviour of the meal was usually the pudding and the canteen served a range of steamed puddings with custard. Jam Roly Poly was a big hit, with its rolls of pudding interlaced with jam and lashings of custard. It is a traditional British steamed pudding, made with suet and it is hot, sweet and filling. The perfect comfort food for a wet Autumn or winter night.

jam-roly-poly-3Jam Roly Poly was often delightfully know as Dead Man’s Arm as it was often wrapped and steamed in an old shirt sleeve so it would retain it’s shape. Now greaseproof paper is a perfect substitute and the resulting pudding is just as delicious. When I was sent some Mackays jam and marmalade in their new festive varieties it seemed the perfect chance to try making Jam Roly Poly. I had already used the Mackays Christmas Marmalade with Cranberries to make a marmalade glazed ham which is ideal food for Christmas Eve. Whilst Jam Roly Poly is not really festive I thought that the Mackays Christmas Preserve with Mulled Wine would add another dimension to the pudding.

Mackays-jamMackays are a Scottish family firm who make their jams and marmalades in the traditional way, using open copper pans and hand stirred during the cooking process. The products are made in small batches and the jams use Scottish raspberries, blackcurrants and strawberries. The jams have a great homemade taste and I loved the background of mulled wine in this jam, it makes it very festive. Mackays Christmas products are available exclusively in their on-line shop.

I set to work making the Jam Roly Poly, it is quite relaxing. It involves making and kneading the dough then spreading the dough with jam. The hard part is getting the dough to form a perfect rectangle. Once the dough is spread with the jam it needs to be rolled up, without the jam squishing out. An art that takes a while to perfect, but I managed it.
jam-roly-polyI then used string and greaseproof paper and left the pudding in the oven with a roasting tin full of boiled water under it. This worked well and the finished pudding was lovely. The Chrismas preserve has a lovely spicy taste which made the Jam Roly Poly a bit more special.

jam-roly-poly-2The pudding was much easier to make that I was expecting and was well received by my husband and son. Served with custard, the plates were soon cleared.

Jam Roly Poly Recipe

Jam Roly Poly



  • 150 g 5½ oz self raising flour
  • 70 g 3 oz suet
  • 100 ml 3½ oz cold water
  • pinch salt
  • 5 tbsp jam


  • Preheat the oven to 200C, Gas Mark 6
  • Add the flour, salt and suet into a bowl.
  • Gradually add the water, mixing until a soft dough is formed.
  • Knead then roll out into a rectangle 1 cm thick.
  • Spread the jam onto the dough leaving a border round the edge.
  • Use cold water on the ends to help create a seal.
  • Roll the dough up pinching the ends together as you go.
  • Place on buttered greaseproof paper and roll this round the pudding making a concertina fold at the top to allow the pudding to expand.
  • Twist the ends of the greaseproof paper like a boiled sweet wrapper to hold it together
  • Place the pudding in a loaf tin.
  • Fill a roasting tin with boiling water and place at the bottom of the oven
  • Place the loaf tin and pudding on the top shelf and bake for 45 minutes
  • Serve with custard

Read more:

I was sent some Mackays jam and marmalade in order to create a recipe

2 responses to “Jam Roly Poly”

  1. This so makes me think of school. Every Thursday was jam roly poly day and I loved it. The more custard the better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: