19th Century: Jam Roly-poly

Preparation info
  • Makes


    pudding in a medium-size loaf tin
    • Difficulty


Appears in
Pride and Pudding: The History of British Puddings, Savoury and Sweet

By Regula Ysewijn

Published 2016

  • About

A roly-poly is a pudding made from a flat rolled piece of suet dough, spread with jam, rolled up and, originally, boiled in a cloth. In the present day it is usually steamed or even baked to give the roll a gentle crust. The custom of boiling the roly-poly in an old shirt sleeve gave it the nickname ‘Dead Man’s Arm’.

No mention is made of a roly-poly before the nineteenth century and even during that period it is often called a ‘jelly roll’ or ‘jam roll’. It is very likely that it d