A Late-Early Mothers’ Day Present: Classic Jam Roll Made with My Mother’s Jam and my Mother-in-Law’s Method

“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.” David C. Gross

Living in a different country from the one a person was brought up and created as a cultural being often causes new traditions emerging in a household. I live in the United Kingdom, still breathing and thinking Hungarian heritage in my heart. Mothers’ Day is on various days in the UK, however, it is always the first Sunday of May in Hungary. In America, of course, Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May, as proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914.

“My mother… she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her.” Jodi Picoult


The origin of Mothers’ Day goes back to the times of ancient Greek and Romans, but it also has strong  roots in the British history. Mothering Sunday was celebrated much before the festival saw the light of the day. However, the celebration of the festival as it is seen today is a recent phenomenon and not even a hundred years old.  Thanks to the hard work of the pioneering women of their times, Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis that the day came into existence. The revival of Mothering Sunday in the UK is the work of Constance Smith. In 1913 she was inspired  by reading a newspaper report of Anna Jarvis’s campaign in America. Constance Smith was a High Anglican who believed that “a day in praise of mothers” was fully expressed in the liturgy of the Church of England for the fourth Sunday of Lent. Today Mothers’ Day is celebrated across 46 countries on different dates and is a hugely popular affair. Millions of people across the globe take the day as an opportunity to honor their mothers, thank them for their efforts in giving them life, raising them and being their constant support and well wisher.


For this particular creation I have to thank both my beautiful dear mother and my gorgeous love-filled mother-in-law. My mother, who taught me the simplest, still one of the most rewarding recipes, demonstrated how to handle ingredients with care and joy. She showed me how to enjoy being a woman, how to care with an ongoing smile on my face. She made me a hard-working and respectable housewife. She is, still today, experimenting with recipes and makes the most delicious preserves, even without sugar. She must be a fairy, really. My mother-in-law gave me her unconditional acceptance and love, accompanied by traditional, hearty, delicious recipes. She shared all her secrets, and taught me many uncomplicated methods. In the meantime, wrapped in her baking tips, she helped me to understand God better, and made my spiritual self stronger and more confident. She must be and angel, really.

“As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.” Kristin Hannah

8 eggs
A pinch of salt (According to my Grandmother, all sweet makes/bakes need a pinch of salt, and all savoury dishes crave a drop of sugar)
8 tbsp sugar
8 tbsp of flour
2 tbsp milk or water
1 tbsp vanilla extract
For the filling: good quality jam (My Mother’s home-made gem)

Method (My Mother-in-Law’s kind of all-in-one technique)
Pre-heat the oven to 170-180 degrees C and line a Swiss Roll tin with baking paper.
Separate the eggs, putting the egg whites in a large bowl, placing the yolks in a small container. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt, and when reached soft peak consistency, add sugar spoon by spoon. When all sugar is incorporated, the mixture should have stiff peak consistency. Whisk in the egg yolks, adding them one by one, then pour in vanilla extract. Finally sieve in the flour and fold it into the mixture very gently. Fill the tin with the sponge mixture and place it into the oven. Bake for about 30-40 minutes.
As soon as it is cooked, lift it out holding the sides of the liner and turn it onto a clean, sugared paper immediately. Carefully and gently strip off the liner, take a sharp knife and trim 3 mm from all round the cake. This will make it much neater and help to prevent it from cracking. Cover with a clean damp tea towel and leave for a couple of minutes, then remove the damp cloth. Then with one of the shorter edges of the cake, make a small incision about 2.5 cm from the edge, cutting right across the cake, not too deeply; this will help when starting to roll. Roll up together with the paper, then again, cover with a damp cloth for a short period. When it’s almost cooled, uncover, unroll, fill and roll up, holding the sugared paper behind the cake as rolling the whole cake up. When it’s completely rolled up, let the cake to col completely. For a professional finish, cover with chocolate or icing sugar.


“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” Abraham Lincoln

10 thoughts on “A Late-Early Mothers’ Day Present: Classic Jam Roll Made with My Mother’s Jam and my Mother-in-Law’s Method

  1. It’s said that each writer (or blogger) needs to find ‘their voice’ – you’ve certainly found yours! What a joy it was to read this post, which is full of love, joy and wisdom.

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