Nigella Lawson's Roly Poly Pudding Recipe Only Uses Three Ingredients

If you went to grade school in Great Britain, many of your lunch breaks likely ended with a sweet, rolled, jam-filled pastry called roly poly pudding (via Taste Atlas). If you have no idea what that is but really want one, you can still enjoy the traditional dessert wherever in the world you are — thanks to Nigella Lawson. The English food writer and television host shared on Twitter that her three-ingredient version of roly poly pudding is to be made in "times of great need." Presumably, the great and constant need for butter and sugar.

Lawson's roly poly pudding diverges from tradition in three ways (via Nigella). First, her method calls for store-bought short-crust pastry instead of the homemade suet dough required by many recipes, such as one from Great British Chefs. (Suet comes from the fat surrounding beef kidneys and is often used in old-school British pastries and mincemeat, according to The Spruce Eats.) Second, Lawson's pastry is rolled not with the customary fruit jam filling, but with a slathering of golden syrup. 

Finally, before baking, Lawson places the log seam-side-down in a buttered gratin dish and pours half a cup of milk around the sides. This step may be meant to partially steam the roll since roly poly puddings are usually wrapped in foil and steamed until fluffy, according to Great British Chefs. Half an hour later, you'll have a rich, oozing, proper British pudd' that Lawson suggests serving with ice cream or whipped cream.

How to replicate golden syrup for Nigella Lawson's roly poly pudding

Many British kitchens are equipped with tins of Lyle's golden syrup, a thick amber goo that is made from inverting white sugar into fructose and glucose and forms the base of classic treats like treacle tart (via BBC Good Food). If you can't find golden syrup in your country, Lawson's recipe shows that you can use an equal measurement of light corn syrup in its place. Of course, golden syrup and corn syrup are made differently and have slightly different flavors, but experts like Gemma Stafford of the Bigger Bolder Baking blog say they behave similarly in recipes. If you're not convinced, try her recipe for homemade golden syrup, made by carefully caramelizing sugar with water and lemon juice.

Whether your syrup is golden or corn-derived, you'll end up with a treat that's just as seductively sticky as Lawson's. And if you follow her shortcut method, the hardest part will be waiting the half hour that the roly poly takes to bake.