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When we were younger, my brother used to spend most of new year’s eve in tears. Whether we were at home or in a restaurant, with friends or in a hotel bar somewhere drinking sufficient diet coke to keep us up well beyond midnight, he’d end up sobbing about how he didn’t want anyone to get any older.

I was, at the time, about as sympathetic as you would expect an older sister to be. In recent years though, I’ve come to appreciate exactly why he was so upset.

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Rather than look forward to the new year, I often find myself mourning the passing of the last. Not because I either have any great attachment to 2013 or any particular regrets but simply because it means that we’ve used up another one of our years.

I feel like 2013 slipped through my fingers when I wasn’t paying attention.

And I can make all sorts of grand promises about how this will be different in 2014 – how I will live more mindfully and with intent,  how I will make seize every opportunity that comes my way and embrace everything that year has to offer – but I’m pretty sure that come mid-March, when I’m buried in the minutiae of everyday life and wishing away the days to our next holiday, I’ll feel 2014 slipping through my fingers too.

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roasted kumquat and buttermilk scones

Yield: Makes 4 giant scones or 6 - 8 more reasonably sized scones

I don't think I'd really appreciated the flavour of kumquats before I made these scones to mark the new year - roasting the kumquats before using them in the scones ensures that they are soft and sweet and sticky and mellows their natural sharpness. Their floral flavour is a lovely contrast to a not-too-sweet hearty scone.

Ingredients

    For the roasted kumquats:
  • 200g (about 1 cup) kumquats
  • A sprinkling of sugar
  • For the scones:
  • 220g (1 3/4 cup) flour - I used einkorn in these but any combo of spelt, plain, whole wheat is fine but you might need more or less liquid depending on which type of flour you use.
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 45g (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk
  • Up to 60ml (1/4 cup) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten (optional)

Instructions

  1. I think the easiest place to start is by roasting the kumquats in a little sugar for about 20 minutes in an oven at 170C/325F. You want to kumquats to be soft to the touch but not reduced down to a sticky mess. Allow the kumquats to cool before making the scones.
  2. To make the scones, preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a baking tray with a non-stick surface.
  3. Lightly whisk the flours,sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and use your fingers to rub it into the flour quickly. You can stop rubbing when it is in pea-sized lumps.
  4. In a separate bowl lightly mix together the buttermilk and vanilla. Pour the liquid into your dry ingredients, add the kumquats and bring everything together with a fork until you have a rough dough. You might need to use your hands to just bring it all together at the end. If it seems a little dry, you can add a splash of milk.
  5. Gather the dough together and squash it down with your hands (I don’t bother with a rolling pin). Either cut out scone shapes or just shape them by hand as I did. The secret is not to overwork the dough or twist the cutter too much as you use it as it may stop the scones from rising properly.
  6. Brush with a little beaten egg if desired and then bake for 20 minutes or so until risen and golden

Notes

Adapted from these nectarine and almond scones

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71 Responses to "roasted kumquat and buttermilk scones"
  1. That’s such a neat way to think about the new year! I usually look forward, but I suppose looking back can be just as rewarding. Great post! And scones!

  2. Tieghan says:

    I am the very same way. I really do not look forward to the New Year, but more see it as “oh my gosh, how is another year already over” so crazy!
    I love reading you thoughts and these sconces look delish!

  3. I always take this time to think about how to make the next year better than the last, but looking back most definitely has its merits. I have yet to ever bake with kumquats, but these scones look like the perfect place to start. Happy New Year!

  4. Right there with you :) And these scones! They look absolutely perfect!

  5. Big sigh. I know what you mean, and I think you are wise to be able to see time’s quickly passing, slipping through our fingers as you say. It’s true. Thankful for this fresh day we’re being given, even when we don’t know whether or not we’ll be given another one; such an interesting reality that we try not to think about too much. Our lives are so fragile and so short. Also: I love kumquats! These look beautiful.

    • kathryn says:

      Oh yes, sometimes I long for those days when life seemed like it would go on forever and I didn’t know of its fragility.

  6. I thought it was just me who thought 2013 went by a little too quickly!
    I love scones and specially love the sound of the roasted kumquat in these ones! Brilliant!
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Sophia says:

    Although happily I didn’t spend new year’s eve in tears I do remember being equally fascinated and horrified at the idea that all those days of the year past were gone forever, never to come back. These days as an adult when I sometimes look forward to a new year all too happily and eager to leave behind me a year that didn’t quite meet my expectations I do long for the sheer awareness of time passing I had when I was younger. Now that a less than stellar year has come to an end I just hope I will manage to live a bit more in the present, appreciate the good and the bad more and spend less time simply waiting for time to pass in anticipation of more exciting times, the next holiday etc.

    I hope 2014 is off to a good start for you – those scones certainly look like a delicious way to start a day at least. I haven’t roasted kumquats before but already love them raw and candied so can only imagine how good they taste once exposed to a bit of oven heat!

  8. It was just today when I stared at a stack of kumquats at my local food store and wondered what I should do with them. A jam maybe? I couldn’t make up my mind so I leaved them there – neglected by most people. These scones would be a great way to use them!

  9. em says:

    Oh Kathryn, I feel your January blues, I really do. The worst part is, the realisation that every year will simply slip through your fingers. Sometimes I try and think of ways to make the time go slower, as if thats actually rationally possible without having an awful time.
    Beautiful pictures as always, judging by the one by the window, you live on my favourite (Victorian?) type of road. I am so jel.
    I made scones yesterday too, obvs I attempted to make them quintessentially American with the triangular shape but had so much trouble getting each scone to look the same. Do you have a trick to get them all so lovely and angular?

    • kathryn says:

      Thanks lovely, it makes it easier knowing that everyone else is feeling the same way. As for the scones, there’s no science involved at all. I just made the dough into a circle and cut it into quarters with a bread knife. It’s way easier if you’re only cutting them into four, otherwise mine end up looking totally bonkers.

  10. Simply gorgeous scones Kathryn. I don’t think I appreciated the taste of kumquats either until I made a chocolate and kumquat tart last year.

    I feel the same way about the new year. I just can’t believe 2013 went by so quickly.

  11. I start feeling bleh around February. The buzz of the holidays is way over and it’s cruddy outside. BUT! I think these scones would cheer me right out of those blues!

  12. I’ve never baked with kumquats but I bet I would like these scones. Wishing you a 2014 that won’t slip past your fingers!

  13. Sini says:

    It was just yesterday when I stared at a stack of kumquats at my local food store and wondered what I should make with them. A jam maybe? However, I couldn’t make up my mind and left them at the store – like the majority does… These scones would be a perfect way to use them! Such a good looking recipe.

    Have a great weekend,
    Sini

    • kathryn says:

      They do seem a bit un-loved don’t they? They’re so versatile though, I can’t wait to bake with them a bit more.

  14. jill says:

    Love scones, love kumquats and your post on New Year thoughts was the best I have read this year. Now thinking I should bake scones every month with a new seasonal ingredient to remind myself of the journey through 2014. Starting with your wonderful looking kumquat ones; shopping list just updated!

  15. autumn says:

    Those kumquats look so pretty peeping out of the scones! I adore kumquats. I can’t believe I’ve never thought to use them in a baking project.

    • kathryn says:

      Thanks Autumn! I’ve only really tried them in booze form before so I was excited to have a bit more of a play with them : )

  16. Happy New Year, friend! Funny story about your brother sobbing because he didn’t want to get older – I probably would’ve laughed at him when I was younger but now I totally am dreading year by year cause I’m just going to get more and more wrinkly ;) these scones are anti-aging, right? ;) xoxo

  17. Skye says:

    I ALWAYS get January blues – every year seems to end with what feels like unfinished business…
    So excited about this scone recipe though – we have whole pile of kumquats that I bought because I thought they looked pretty, but had no idea what to do with them…problem solved…so a big thank you! x

    • kathryn says:

      I do really think that January is the worst of months; I’m determined to fill this January with as much life and colour as I can!

  18. I can’t help but get excited during the new year–as it seems like a clean slate and a great way to start over (in whatever way you so desire)…but I agree with you, time seems to be slipping by SO quickly!

    These scones are so beautiful! Love them to pieces.

    • kathryn says:

      I do like that whole clean slate idea (even if I’m not very good at it!) but it is just so scary the way that the years fly past. Sooner than we know, it will be Christmas again!

  19. How gorgeous are these scones!! Love the kumquats in them, sounds delicious. I actually just moved to London for the next six months, so I’m hanging out in your neck of the woods :) Happy New Year!

  20. Man these look insane. I’ve been searching the internet for some good kumquat recipes and will have to give these a go.

  21. Oh my goodness these look so delicious!!

  22. Kasey says:

    So much truth in this post. I definitely know what you mean about losing another year. I feel like I always star the year saying things will be different, but often, the years pass just as quickly and resolutions are left undone. I’ve taken to skipping the resolutions and just intending to be happy. xo

    • kathryn says:

      I think that’s a much better way to live your life; live in the moment and enjoy every one of them rather than waste time chasing the impossible xo

  23. Your scones look delish, i’ve never heard of kumquat before will have to try this out. I agree with you that the years seem to slip by, but hopefully you will make the most of 2014. Happy new year xx

  24. So true!! Looking back at a lost year is just sad and thinking of how come March the same cycle might be repeating just makes me want to eat these scones. Just saying. All of the, with a cup of tea :)

  25. Stephanie says:

    I cannot believe how much time speeds up as you get older. I want to grab on to something and make it slow down for just a few days so I can catch my breath! I’ve found that a balance of looking back at the past year and forward to the New Year is my favorite way to celebrate all the things that happened and that can happen in the future. Hope that 2014 provides you with moments to hang on to

    • kathryn says:

      So true. I long for those childhood days which seemed to stretch forever and the future seemed a million years away. Happy new year Stephanie.

  26. I’m guilty of constantly looking forward to things – big holidays, exciting events, even the next meal – but it’s so important to live in the moment too. Happiness can be a simple scone, no need to think about past or future.

    • kathryn says:

      Yup, totally with you there. I’m counting down the days until my next holiday (at Easter!) and I’m in danger of forgetting all the days and weeks in between like they don’t matter at all. Definitely trying to live in the moment more.

  27. cynthia says:

    What a lovely post, Kathryn. (And your story about your little brother in tears every NYE was so funny, yet endearing!) I know exactly what you mean — I’m always looking forward to the next holiday or time off or weekend, and yet when they’ve all passed I realize that I should be appreciating every moment I’m given, not just looking forward to the next. Love kumquats (they’re so adorable!) and the idea of these scones! Thank you for this thoughtful post and delicious recipe. (And so glad we are new IG friends!! :) )

    • kathryn says:

      Thank you for your sweet comment Cynthia (and yes, so glad to connect with you in IG, I’m a big fan of your blog!).

  28. I appreciated all the thoughts about the passage of time here. I always think I’m getting really old until a few more years have passed by … and then I realise I wasn’t old at all a few years ago … if that makes sense!
    Beautiful scones … thank you!

  29. Marie says:

    2013 went way too fast for me as well, it’s scary ! But then when I look back and realize all the things I’ve accomplished in one year, I feel a little bit more positive… I try to look at it this way or else I tend to be scared by the passing of time..
    I wish you a beautiful year :) Oh and putting kumquats in a scone : GENIUS idea I’d love one right now :)

    • kathryn says:

      That’s a lovely way to look at things Marie, thank you so much for your comment and best wishes for the new year!

  30. Joanne says:

    I think it’s just human nature to be this way…because we must get caught up in the minutiae to some degree in order to survive and it’s pretty hard to always be appreciating everything. I feel like even being slightly more mindful is a win!

    I love how you used kumquats here. I’ve actually never had them but I’ve been seeing them in the supermarket a lot lately…must pick some up!

    • kathryn says:

      Thanks Joanne, you’re so right. This year, if I aim to be just slightly more mindful, hopefully I’ll appreciate the year a bit more!

  31. These scones look absolutely divine! I love kumquats. We have a tree in our yard and I’ve never really known what exactly to do with them. When I was younger me and my friends would yank them off the tree and throw them at each other. (Boys gotta be boys, right? lol)

    I’m going to have to try these out! My tree is overflowing with them right now and I’ve been craving some scones.

    P.S. I love your blog! So adorable and the recipes look to die for, following immediately!

    • kathryn says:

      Thank you so much for your comment Graham and for stopping by this blog! I’m so jealous that you have your own kumquat tree – I bet they taste even better than anything you can buy!

  32. Kathyn, too true. The years do slip through our fingers. I really wish I could slow time and savor it all ( even the bad stuff.) It goes so darned quickly.
    xoxo
    E

    • kathryn says:

      Thank you Erin, I think that realising how fast life whizzes past is one of the saddest things about growing up and it just makes me more determined to try and enjoy every minute.

  33. Kate says:

    Amen! I totally relate with your sentiments in this post, Kathryn. I am not sad to see 2013 go, though. I have high hopes for 2014 and don’t want to let it slip though my fingers… time will tell.

    • kathryn says:

      Thanks Kate and happy new year to you! I’m sure that 2014 has brilliant and wonderful things in store for you this year.

  34. katy says:

    I know what you mean, Kathryn; I always feel such a sense of loss at the end of the year–one that is so much sharper than nostalgia. But I suppose the name of the game is always to move onwards and upwards!

    These scones sound wonderful, by the way; I love the idea of roasting kumquats.

    • kathryn says:

      Thanks Katy, and you’re right, it really is a sense of loss amid all the festivities of the holiday period. Maybe one day I’ll get used to it!

  35. Laura says:

    2013 slipped through my fingers too. There were plenty of good bits, but I’m not sure if I really did my due diligence in seizing it. So I get that felt sense of loss in a way. I’m trying to get more into daily appreciation this year. I think it makes for a fuller existence by design and relieves the pressure associated with building up new year goals. Looking forward to all of your work in this beautiful space this year (as always), Kathryn. These scones are so unique and wonderful. xo

    • kathryn says:

      Thanks Laura, love your thoughts here and in your post today about daily appreciation. So wise and so important.

  36. Heather says:

    2013 was a year for me as well that absolutely flew by, when you are younger time seems to move at a snails pace, but once I hit my mid twenties time literally started to fly bye. These scones are indeed beautiful, kumquats are so underused!

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