Cory Schreiber | Wildwood | Ten Speed Press, 2000 | Serves 8
One of the recipes in my great-grandmother Elizabeth’s box had a name that intrigued me. The words roly-poly, written in her elegant hand, jumped out at me like a secret that had been kept hidden inside the box for too long.—Cory Schreiber
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups fresh ripe blackberries
6 tablespoons sugar
For the sliced-lemon sauce
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 to 2 lemons, preferably Meyer lemons, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into paper-thin crosswise slices on a mandoline or by hand
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180C°). Lightly butter two 12-inch loaf pans. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the 4 tablespoons of cold butter until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the milk and mix with a fork until the dough comes together.
2. Turn out onto a floured board and knead 4 or 5 times, or until smooth. Cut the dough in half. Roll out half of the dough into a rectangle 8 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick. Brush with half of the melted butter. Top with 3/4 cup of the blackberries and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Roll up jelly-roll style, forming an 8-inch-long roll. Place, seam-side down, in one of the prepared pans. Repeat the process, using the remaining half of the dough and filling. Bake in the pans for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is firm and beginning to brown.
3. While the roly-poly is cooking, make the sauce: In a medium saucepan, blend together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the water, lemon juice, vanilla bean and scrapings, and stir until smooth. (If using vanilla extract, wait to add until the syrup is removed from the heat.) Cook over medium heat, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and clear. Remove from heat, add the butter, and continue to stir until melted and blended. Let cool slightly and stir in the lemon slices. Take out the vanilla bean, if using.
4. Remove the roly-poly from the oven and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack. Cut into 2-inch slices and serve with lemon sauce.
Chef’s note: The lemon sauce will keep for 3 to 4 days but is best served the day it is made. It will thicken when refrigerated; simply stir to loosen the sauce.
Blackberry roly-poly recipe © 2000 Cory Schreiber. Photo 2010 Karla M. Cyr. All rights reserved.