Jam roly poly with custard

Danny's jam roly poly recipe is a simple take on this classic British dessert. Baked in the oven to create a crisp exterior, and smothered in creamy custard, it's a real comfort food classic.

First published in 2015
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At the risk of sounding like a well-known chef from Gloucestershire, jam roly poly is a ‘proper’ old school dessert and will brighten up anyone’s day, especially when served on a cold and grey one. Traditionally, roly polies are wrapped in muslin or foil and steamed, but this recipe does without that extra faff by going straight down the baking route. Admittedly, the resulting roly poly doesn’t come out as uniform as you might expect but you do get the bonus of a nice crispy, sugary crust to crack your spoon into.

The added extra of course is drowning this pud in easy-to-make custard. All very simple, all very quick and you will be going for a second helping of this jammy treat in no time at all.




Roly poly

  • 225g of self-raising flour
  • 115g of suet
  • 8 tbsp of water
  • 4 tbsp of raspberry jam, warmed through to loosen
  • 1 egg, beaten with a dash of milk, to glaze
  • caster sugar
  • butter for greasing


  • 600ml of whole milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 70g of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6 and lightly grease a large roasting tin with butter
Sift the flour into a bowl and add a pinch of salt, the suet, a few sploshes of water and mix all together. The aim is to get a soft dough that is not sticky so add the water sparingly at first
Turn out onto a floured surface and roll with a floured rolling pin into a rectangle, roughly 20cm x 30cm. Spread the jam evenly across the surface, making sure you leave a border all around the edge
Starting with the long side closest to you, roll the border over the jam, then continue to roll up the dough around the jam like a swiss roll. Press the edge and ends together gently to seal. Place the roly poly in the buttered roasting tin and brush with the egg mix to glaze
Sprinkling all over with a healthy amount of caster sugar, then place in the centre of the oven and bake for 35–40 minutes until golden brown
Meanwhile, make the custard by beating the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until creamy. Add the milk and vanilla extract to a pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil
Place the bowl with the egg yolk mixture over another pan with a small amount of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Slowly pour the hot vanilla milk over the egg yolks, whisking continuously until smooth and thickened
To test if the custard is ready, dip a wooden spoon into the mixture, if it sticks to the back of the spoon and a line remains when you draw through it with your finger, then it's ready
To serve, slice the cooked roly poly into generous pieces and pour over the warm custard
First published in 2015
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Danny is a food adventurer, home grower, supper club host and writer of the entertaining and quirky epicurean blog, Food Urchin.

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