Of course when I think of a robin, I think of the English Robin even though I have now lived longer on the North American continent than I ever lived in the UK. The English Robin, a member of the flycatcher family, is the national bird of the UK and very much beloved by everyone. It is in fact not confined to England and can be found all over Europe. It is famous for its song and for its chirpy behaviour often perching on spade handles when people are digging waiting for worms to be brought forth. However, they can be very aggressive and territorial. Then we have the American Robin which also has a lovely song and is the harbinger of spring. It is not related to the English Robin but is a member of the thrush family. It was named Robin because of its similarly coloured breast. I remember first becoming aware of them when we had a rain storm and shortly after the air was filled with the song of robins.
I had to include this pudding, it is so very English. This is a very simple recipe by Nigella as opposed to the traditional ones which are made and boiled and which bring back memories of English childhoods. It doesn’t even look like a roly poly pudding about which pictures have been drawn and poems written. Read the Tale of Samuel Whiskers from Gutenberg books. Nigella’s version uses Lyle Golden Syrup. Once again, traditionally they are Jam Roly Polys.
Roly Poly PuddingNigella Lawson
I feel better just contemplating this. You get the comfort of a syrup pudding steamed for many, many hours in 30 minutes. And you do practically nothing to make it: roll out half a 375g packet of good shop-bought pastry, ooze golden syrup over it, roll it up like a swiss roll and bung it in a dish, throwing over some milk before putting it in the oven.
You can eat it with either cream or ice cream: whatever, it is perfect Sunday lunch pudding, though there is a good case for making it any day of the week.
- 1 x 6 oz slab shop-bought shortcrust pastry (thawed, if frozen)
- ¾ cup golden syrup or light corn syrup
- ½ cup whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400ºF. Roll out the pastry to a size about 18 x 32.5cm / 7 x 13 inches.
- Pour the golden syrup or light corn syrup onto the pastry, leaving a 2cm / ¾ inch margin around the edge.
- With a buttered oval gratin dish (28cm / 11 inches long) at the ready, roll up the pastry from the short side into a fat sausage shape.
- Transfer to the dish, putting the seam underneath, and pour half of the milk down one side of the roly-poly and half down the other side.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.