Roly Poly Pudding
At this time of the year, we are getting scratches on arms and hands picking one of my favorite fruits: black raspberries. When we bring them to market, many people reminisce about picking these wild in their backyards, or in visits to the “country”. This fruit is native to North America, and is extremely hardy. Black raspberries, due to their dark pigment, have one of the highest levels of antioxidants in fruits. Their appearance to our family means high summer season is upon us – a time of long hours, hard work and a lunchtime cooling off in the family pool. I love making this recipe, as you can make it before a get together with friends, and it can cook while you are eating dinner. So find a hedge of wild black raspberries, or head to your local farmers market and create your own sweet memories of summer.
Roly-Poly pudding is a Clarke family favorite going back several generations. It is definitely a misnomer, as it is more cake-like and certainly not of a typical pudding consistency. It can be made with any fruit filling, but is best with berries such as raspberries, black raspberries, or blackberries. If choosing juicy fruits such as peaches or apples be sure they are well drained and add a little flour to the sugar and spice mixture that you stir into the fruit.
This is steamed pudding. Use a pudding mold or a can with a tight fitting lid. (I have successfully steamed in a metal container with foil wrapped tightly around the top.) Prepare the mold by greasing it carefully and sprinkling the inside with sugar. Fill your mold container no more than ½ full. Choose a large, heavy pot that will allow about an inch of clearance all the way round between the mold and the sides of the pot. Place a trivet in the bottom or fold some foil and place it in the bottom of the pot, being sure that your “mold” will sit straight and not tip when the water boils
To begin, make a sweet, rich biscuit dough such as the one below.
2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. shortening (1/2 butter if you wish)
2/3 cup milk
Using a lightly floured board, gather the dough into a ball and knead lightly. Roll out the dough in an oblong shape, (approximately the length equal to the circumference of your mold or can) to a thickness of about ½ inch.
1 cup of berries or well drained fruit, washed well ahead of time and allowed to dry
1/3 – ½ cup sugar
¼ – ½ tsp. cinnamon if desired
1 – 2 Tbsp. flour –if your fruit is very juicy
Gently stir this mixture into the fruit. Spoon the fruit onto the center of the biscuit dough and roll the dough over the fruit (much like a jelly roll) sealing the edges. Carefully place the dough in a circle around the inside of the well- greased and sugar coated mold. Cover the mold and place it in the pot. Place the filled and covered mold on the trivet allowing space between the mold and the sides of the pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the bottom 1/3 of the mold. Cover the pot tightly. Using high heat at first, bring the water to a boil. Then turn down the heat to maintain a very slow boil and cook for about 2 hours. Before unmolding the pudding, remove the lid from the mold and allow the pudding to rest so the excess steam can escape, 15 minutes or so. Hopefully, this will help prevent cracking. It is very difficult to unmold the pudding without it cracking.
Serve with hard sauce.
¼ cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 egg white or 1/4 cup cream
1 tsp. vanilla or any other desired flavoring