Mum's apple roly poly



One dish I remember from my childhood, and which has not survived to reappear on retro comfort-food menus, is my mother’s apple roly-poly, although my guess is that many early Australians would have been raised on it. Cheap and quick to make – and filling – it was a mother’s standby and many a family’s favourite.

The light scone-like dough works perfectly to steam the apples within, and the best part – well, I liked that bit best as a child – was where the water-sugar mixture while baking had turned to a gluey caramel around the edge of the dish. Oh, the joy of being allowed to scrape that off with a spoon! (It's not so pretty when it's cooking, but see what it looks like at the end of the recipe.)

1 cup SR flour

2 tablespoons of dripping* (or butter)

1-2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and very thinly sliced

some sultanas, optional

1/2 cup sugar (more or less to taste)

1 cup cold water

cinnamon, if liked


Rub the fat into the flour and add enough cold water to make a scone-like dough. Roll out on a floured bench top and scatter with  the apples and sultanas, if using.

Roll the dough up carefully, enclosing the fruit and seal ends well. Place the roll in a greased pie dish. Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon if using, then pour the cold water over it all. Bake in a moderate oven** for 30-40 minutes until golden and fully baked. Serves 4.


* If you are using dripping or salted butter you don’t need to add salt to the dough. If not, add a pinch.

** In my mother’s day you didn’t need to preheat the oven – the fuel stove was always going, but your electric or gas oven should be preheated.











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