Blueberry Roly Poly

Roly poly is basically a sweet biscuit dough traditionally filled with fruit or jam, rolled up like a jelly roll, and steamed. This is a British comfort food. My aunt makes a version of this, and my cousin loves it. We had it for the first time a few years ago when we were visiting. I got the recipe, but it didn’t turn out the same for me, so this morning I got a tutorial. The original recipe is the one my aunt’s mother followed:

Grandma Peterman's recipe for blueberry roly poly

Grandma Peterman's recipe for blueberry roly poly

Roly Poly
Sift 1 qt of flour, 3 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, little sugar, 2 heaping Tblsp shortening. Mix with cold water until easily handled. Roll the dough thick enough to keep fruit from breaking through. Put in hot pan and bake 40 to 50 minutes until nearly done. Put in pan 1 c water, 1/2 c sugar, lump of butter and baste the Roly Poly with this.

Aunt Dor’s version is a little different.

Blueberry Roly Poly
Dough
3 c flour
5 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ c sugar
4 T shortening
1 cup milk (more or less)

Filling
3 T melted butter
¼ c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pint blueberries
a little lemon juice

Basting Liquid
½ c water
¼ c sugar
1 T melted butter

Vanilla Sauce (Roly Poly Topping)
½ cup sugar
1 T cornstarch
1 cup boiling water
2 T butter
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Make the dough:
Whisk the dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening to pea-sized lumps. Mix in the milk to make a soft (but not sticky) biscuit dough.

Sweet biscuit dough

Sweet biscuit dough

Assemble the roly poly:
On a floured surface, pat out the dough to about 8″ x 12″.

Pat the dough to an 8" x 12" rectangle

Pat the dough to an 8" x 12" rectangle

Pour melted butter over the dough.

Butter spread on the dough

Butter spread on the dough

Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the melted butter. Spread on the blueberries and add a squirt of lemon. Fold one third of the dough over the berries, then fold the other third of the dough. Fold the ends to keep the berries inside.

Folding the dough over the blueberries

Folding the dough over the blueberries

Bake the roly poly:
Hoist the roly poly into a 7″ x 9″ pan. Bake at 400℉ for 15 minutes. Turn down the heat to 375℉ and bake for 45 minutes more. After lowering the heat, baste with the sugar–water–butter mixture every 10 minutes or so.

Basting the roly poly

Basting the roly poly

And here it is, done:

Blueberry roly poly

Blueberry roly poly

Make the vanilla sauce:
In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Gradually add the water, stirring. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter, vanilla, and salt. Allow to cool in the refrigerator, or use hot. Thin with milk if necessary.

Vanilla sauce

Vanilla sauce

Slice the roly poly and serve with vanilla sauce.

A slice of roly poly

A slice of roly poly

A slice of roly poly with vanilla sauce

A slice of roly poly with vanilla sauce

Mmmmmmmmm

Mmmmmmmmm

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