Recipe for “Roly-Poly Jam Pudding” by Mrs. Beeton (1836 – 1865)

A while back I wrote about the meaning of Roly-Poly. (As in Roly-Poly, or Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie.)

One definition of Roly-Poly is a type of pudding rolled in a pie crust, and traditionally boiled or steamed. Below is a very old recipe for Roly-Poly Jam Pudding by Mrs. Beeton. Mrs. Beeton lived during the Victorian era. She penned a book entitled The Book of Household Management around 1859, which is where this recipe is from. It was one of the first modern types of cookbooks published. The recipe itself seems somewhat old fashioned to me, but then again, I’ve never cooked with suet before!



3/4 lb of suet-crust (see recipe below)
3/4 lb. of any kind of jam

Make a nice light suet-crust by recipe (below), and roll it
out to the thickness of about 1/2 inch. Spread the jam equally over it,
leaving a small margin of paste (crust) without any, where the pudding joins.

Roll it up, fasten the ends securely, and tie it in a floured cloth; put
the pudding into boiling water, and boil for 2 hours. Mincemeat or
marmalade may be substituted for the jam, and makes excellent puddings.

Time = 2 hours.

Average cost (in the Victorian era) = 9d. (d. stands for ‘denarius’ which was a Roman silver coin – it was also used as the name for the English silver penny.)

Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons.

Seasonable – Suitable for winter puddings, when fresh fruit is not obtainable.

SUET CRUST, for Pies or Puddings.


To every lb. of flour allow 5 or 6 oz. of beef suet
(Suet is the hard fat around the kidneys or loins in beef or mutton.)
1/2 pint of water.

Free the suet from skin and shreds; chop it extremely fine, and
rub it well into the flour; work the whole to a smooth paste with the
above proportion of water; roll it out, and it is ready for use. This
crust is quite rich enough for ordinary purposes, but when a better one
is desired, use from 1/2 to 3/4 lb. of suet to every lb. of flour. Some
cooks, for rich crusts, pound the suet in a mortar, with a small quantity of butter. It should then be laid on the paste in small pieces,
the same as for puff-crust, and will be found exceedingly nice for hot
tarts. 5 oz. of suet to every lb. of flour will make a very good crust;
and even 1/4 lb. will answer very well for children, or where the crust
is wanted very plain.

Average cost, 5d. per lb.

Many thanks to Peter Rowland for inspiring me to learn more about Roly-Poly Pudding.

This article was posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2005 at 5:29 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Desserts, English, English Nursery Rhymes, Georgie Porgie, History of Nursery Rhymes, Nursery Rhymes, Recipes of the World, Roly-Poly Jam Pudding, United Kingdom. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

3 Responses to “Recipe for “Roly-Poly Jam Pudding” by Mrs. Beeton (1836 – 1865)”

  1. Alex Says:

    i was just reading your thing on roly poly pudding and i remembered that in one of the peter rabbit stories Peter is going to be turned into roly poly pudding by Samuel Whiskers the rat.

  2. jjj Says:

    This is a real good recipe…im using it for a history project in school…
    we have to use a real old recipe…and i choose this one :)

  3. Laronda Crandle Says:

    Amazing display of tasty goodness! Adding to my must try list NOW!

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