The same basic suet pastry is used for jam roly-poly and all its variations. It is fast and easy to make and, if mixed quickly and deftly, has a light, spongy texture - a far cry from the hefty steamed puds of schooldays. Steam or boil the puddings or, if less time is available, bake them instead.
175 g (6 oz) self-raising flour
pinch of salt
75 g (3 oz) shredded beef suet
1. Mix the flour, salt and suet together in a bowl.
2. Using a round-bladed knife, stir in enough water to give a light, elastic dough. Knead very lightly until smooth.
3. Roll out to an oblong about 23 x 25 cm
(9 x 11 inches) and use as required. (See variations below.)
4. Make a 5 cm (2 inch) pleat across a clean tea-towel or pudding cloth. Or pleat together sheets of greased greaseproof paper and strong foil. Wrap the roll loosely, to allow for expansion, in the cloth or foil, pleating the open edges tightly together. Tie the ends securely with string to form a cracker shape. Make a string handle across the top. Lower the suet roll into a roasting tin or large pan of boiling water, cover and boil for 1 1/2 hours depending on filling and size. Lift the pudding out of the water using the string handle. Place on a Wire rack standing over a plate and allow excess moisture to drain off. Snip the string and gently roll the pudding out of the cloth or foil on to a warmed serving plate. Roly-poly puddings can also be baked, uncovered at 200°C (400°F) mark 6 for about 40 minutes. Serve sliced with custard.
Spread the pastry with 60 - 90 ml (4 - 6 tbsp) jam. Brush the edges with milk and roll up, starting from the short end. Steam or bake as above.
Spread the pastry with 60 ml (4 tbsp) golden syrup mixed with 30-45 ml (2-3 tbsp) fresh white breadcrumbs. Steam or bake as above.
Add the finely grated rind of 1 lemon to the pastry. Roll out and spread with 60-90 ml (4-6 tbsp) lemon curd. Steam or bake as above.
Add the finely grated rind of 1 orange to the dough.
Roll out and spread with 60-90 ml (4-6 tbsp)
mincemeat. Steam or bake as above.
SPOTTED DICK OR DOG
Replace half of the flour with 100 g (4 oz) fresh
breadcrumbs. Add 50 g (2 oz) caster sugar, 175 g (6 oz)
currants, finely grated rind of 1 lemon and 75 ml
(5 tbsp) milk. Mix everything together. Shape into a
neat roll about 15 cm (6 inches) long. Boil as above.
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