This is not an instruction leaflet for beginners gymnastics or even a portfolio of podges, although, as we progress, the two may become inextricably linked. No picture again I’m afraid.
I had a request from Mr Parrot for a recipe for suet pudding. I realize this is not the ideal weather for a warming, fuel food but you must understand that I am merely a slave to the nostalgic whims of my readers. If suet pudding is demanded, suet pudding will be forthcoming.
Roly Poly pudding first appeared on English tables in the 1800’s. Suet pastry is wonderfully versatile in that it can be filled with steak and kidney, jam or syrup and some of you may remember being given Plough Pudding which has a filling of bacon, onions and sage. Gosh I feel hungry just thinking about it. I won’t torment you with the variation to turn it into Spotted Dick – I will save that one for the cooler, darker days.
The trick with suet pastry is to be gentle with it; use as little water as you can get away with and handle it as quickly and lightly as you can. Incidentally, if you’re not a vegetarian, don’t mess with vegetarian suet. It just isn’t as good.
It is ideal energy food and a good filler-upper, particularly for manual workers or when meat is scarce or simply too expensive. One should never feel guilty about eating this sort of food; it’s not as though it turns up on the table every day. My justifying mantra is this. Turn down the heating, go for a walk, have a pudding.
ROLY POLY PUDDING
1 x grater
1 x baking sheet
Baking parchment or greaseproof paper
1 x large mixing bowl
1 x rolling pin
1 x palette knife
1 x pastry brush
6oz / 180g self raising flour
a pinch of salt
3oz / 90g shredded suet
rind of 1 lemon – finely grated
5-6 tablespoons of jam or Golden Syrup
A butter paper and extra flour for greasing and dusting
Preheat the oven to 180 / 360 / 4
Line the baking sheet with the parchment or paper
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl
Stir in the suet and lemon rind
Stir in just enough water to be able to pull the mixture together into a soft dough
Quickly and lightly, pull it together with your fingers into a ball, adding a little more water if necessary
Lightly flour the work surface and knead the dough lightly with your fingers until it is smooth.
Very gently, roll the suet pastry into a rectangle about the size of your baking tray (8×12” / 30x20cm ish)
Using your palette knife spread the pastry with the jam or syrup, leaving a gap of about an inch all the way round the edges
Brush these empty edges with water
Very carefully roll up the pastry, but not tightly or this will squish out all the filling
Put the roll, seam side down onto the lined baking sheet
Place it in the oven for 30-40 minutes until it is nicely risen and golden brown
Leave it to cool for a while before serving or it will scar your mouth for life
Cut into thick slices and serve with custard, or cream if you have an unnatural and unhealthy aversion to custard