In September 2017 we headed off for a seven week holiday, starting off in New York City before heading over to Iceland, and then continuing on to mainland Europe. It was a mammoth holiday for us – it was a long time (11 years?) since I’d been on a holiday of this length or with as many stops.
With Australia being so far away from the rest of the world – it’s not really possible to “pop over” to another country for a long weekend for example – our closest neighbour, New Zealand, is two flights from Tasmania (a minimum 8 hour travel time including airport transfers and layovers). So when we decided to go on this holiday, I really wanted to cram as much in as possible knowing that it may be another 11 years or so before we would get to do the same again. In hindsight, this probably wasn’t the best approach – there was a lot of time lost in transit and by the end of the holiday I was exhausted! That said, we did have an amazing time and got to visit some close friends I hadn’t seen in a while, and visited some amazing places. And of course, ate lots of delicious food!
A definite highlight for me on this holiday was Iceland. I had been wanting to visit Iceland for a long time, and we decided to spend nine days there exploring the Western and Southern areas.
Iceland is like no place I’ve been before. If I had to compare it to anywhere, it would be my home state of Tasmania, with it’s stunning natural scenery, sparse population and cooler climate (though Iceland is far, far colder!) though at the same time they are nothing alike. For one thing, Tasmania is home to some of the worlds lushest forests and tallest trees, whereas Iceland surprisingly had very few trees, and those that did exist were quite short!
But what Iceland lacked in trees, it made up for in dramatic scenery. Cliffs that soared straight up from the oceans edge; moody skies that formed the backdrop of black rock beaches; other beaches dotted with iceberg jewels; and of course, all of the magical waterfalls.
While travelling around Iceland, one thing that we really enjoyed was stopping in at small cafes and eateries in unassuming towns to warm up with a hot drink and sweet treat. While Iceland is dotted with some stunning little towns like Stykkisholmur (ever seen the movie Walter Mitty? If so you would recognise a few of the shots from this scenic harbour town) many are less enticing for most on the tourist trail, which is probably why we were so drawn to them. While a lot of the main attractions in Iceland are now incredibly tourist-y, it can be hard to catch a glimpse into ‘real’ Icelandic life, so spending time pottering around these towns was a nice way to do this.
One of my favorite treats were these rhubarb scrolls. Though they look similar to the Swedish cinnamon scroll, their texture is somewhat denser, being made with oat flour. This makes the texture a little stodgier (I love that word!) than the fluffy Swedish variety, but creates the perfect wholesome treat for a day chasing waterfalls in the cool Icelandic climate.
When we got home, I spent ages trawling the internet trying to find a recipe, but came up with nothing. Eventually, I found someone on Instagram that was able to point me in the right direction, and after some experimenting and tweaking I finally made a batch of scrolls that took me right back to Iceland.
And if you’re interested, you can check out more photos from our Iceland holiday here.
- 300g rhubarb, washed and cut into 1" pieces
- 150g sugar (I used half organic white, half rapadura)
- Juice of one lemon
- Seeds from ½ vanilla pod
- 120g organic plain flour
- 50g rolled oats
- 50g coconut sugar
- 1tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarb soda
- 90g butter, melted
- 1 small egg, whisked
- 50ml milk
- Rhubarb jam
- 1 Tbsp oats, extra
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar, extra
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 180C
- To make the jam, add all of the ingredients in a saucepan, stir to coat, and leave an hour for some of the moisture to draw out of the rhubarb.
- Place over high heat, and once starting to boil, reduce to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thickened.
- This will make just under a cup of jam. You only need a few tablespoons for the scrolls, but the rest will keep in a jar in the fridge for a few months.
- To make the scrolls, mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Then add the melted butter, milk and egg, and mix to combine, then turn out to a floured bench and knead until combined. Not that if the dough is a little tacky, you may wish to add a little more flour at this point.
- Roll into a large rectangle, and spread with jam. Roll into a scroll, and then slice into 2cm pieces.
- Place on a greased tray. Mix together the extra sugar, oats and cinnamon and sprinkle.
- Bake around 20 minutes, or until golden on top.
Because of the oat flour which is quite dense, you probably wouldn't want to go a much higher ratio that this.