Wild Rose Petal Jam Roly Poly
Updated: Jun 17
Its Mid-Winter, the nights are cold there isn't many fresh foods around let alone wild foods.. And my stomach yearns for the Spring to return! When you hit this point in the Winter there is only one thing to do, bring out the heavy hitters of wild comfort food. This recipe utilises my Wild Rose Petal Jam, I don't make much with this as the amount of wild rose petal jam yielded from many hours of petal picking is relatively little. So when you do open a jar it's time to celebrate and use it in a pudding that repays those hard earned hours of picking.
Like this recipe? You may also like my recipe for Iced Rose Petal Tea.
A Brief History of the Roly Poly
The history of the roly-poly recipe can be traced back to traditional British cuisine. Roly-poly is a type of dessert that consists of a sweet or savoury filling rolled up in a suet pastry. The concept of using suet pastry to encase fillings dates back to medieval times when suet, the hard fat found around the kidneys of animals like cows and sheep, was commonly used in cooking.
During the medieval era, suet was a popular ingredient in various dishes, and it was particularly favored for making puddings. Traditional suet puddings were often steamed or boiled and contained a range of ingredients, such as fruits, meats, or vegetables, encased in a suet pastry shell.
Over time, the roly-poly dessert emerged as a variation of these suet puddings. It featured a sweet or savoury filling, typically made with ingredients like jam, fruit, or mincemeat, which was rolled up tightly within a suet pastry. The name "roly-poly" likely comes from the rolling motion used to shape the pastry and the resulting cylindrical shape of the dessert.
Roly-poly became a beloved dessert in British households, particularly during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was often served as a comforting and filling treat, enjoyed on its own or with accompaniments like custard or cream. The simplicity of the recipe and the versatility of the fillings made roly-poly a popular choice for home cooks.
As culinary trends evolved and new ingredients and techniques were introduced, the traditional suet pastry used in roly-poly recipes started to be replaced with alternatives like butter pastry or shortcrust pastry. These variations allowed for lighter and more delicate textures while still maintaining the essence of the rolled-up dessert.
Today, roly-poly remains a nostalgic dessert, evoking a sense of tradition and comfort. While the recipe has evolved over the years, the essence of a rolled-up pastry filled with delicious flavours lives on, carrying with it a rich history rooted in British culinary traditions.
This roly poly is brought right up-to-date with the delicate floral notes of rose jam.. Once you have tried it, making this banging dessert with anything other than rose jam will simply not be the same.
Click the link to learn more about the wild rose and the recipes that you can create from it.
Wild Rose Petal Jam Roly Poly Recipe
50g salted butter, cold and cut into chunks, plus extra for greasing
250g self-raising flour , plus extra for rolling
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
50g shredded suet
150ml milk, plus a drop more if needed
100g Wild Rose Petal Jam
This is a different cooking technique to the normal hours of steaming and for someone as clumsy as me in the kitchen.. Far more reliable!
Place a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven, place it in the middle we are going to bake the pudding above it. Fill to half way with boiling water from the kettle and heat oven to 180 degrees C.
To make the Roly Poly tip the butter, flour and vanilla seeds (scraped from the pod) into a food processor; pulse until the ingredients have been completely combined. Then place in a mixing bowl. Stir through the suet and the milk and work together to form a sticky dough. If the mix is dry add a little milk.
Tip the dough out onto a floured surface, combine into a round (not to much handling though), then roll out to a square roughly 25 x 25cm. Spread the Wild Rose Petal jam generously all over, leaving a gap along one edge, then roll up from the opposite edge. Pinch the jam-free edge into the dough where it meets, and pinch the ends roughly, too - making a huge fat swiss roll.
Quick note: If you haven't got rose jam, replace it with any of your favourite sweet preserves.
To cook the pudding we need to create the perfect container, this is very easy. Tear off a large sheet of foil and also an equally big sheet of greaseproof paper (about 40 x 40cm each). Sit the greaseproof on top of the foil and butter it.
Carefully lift the pudding onto the greased paper, join-side down and loosely bring the paper and foil around it, then scrunch together along the edges and ends to seal into a huge gloriously jammy cigar shape. The Wild Rose Petal Jam roly-poly will puff up quite a bit during cooking so don't wrap it too tightly. Place the Roly Poly in the oven directly above the tin and cook for 1 hr.
When ready to serve take the rose petal roly poly out of the oven and allow to rest for 5 mins before unwrapping this will help it to hold together.
Now it's time to serve.. As you peel back the wrapping you'll get the first hit of jammy sweet steam. The pudding must be cut into thick slices so that the pink rings of the wild rose petal jam are visible prior to being devoured. It is absolutely essential that you serve this pudding with custard, the worse the weather outside the better and more satisfying the pudding!!
British classic made with a sophisticated and most delightful rose flavoured jam.. If you didn't make the jam last year make sure that this year you do, just for this once a year super treat!
Get more wild food recipes by checking out our selection of wild food and foraged food cookbooks.