Blueberry and Fennel-Seed Scones
Photo courtesy of Jake Gartland

We’ve been after a perfect scone recipe for quite some time. Our criteria: a melt-in-your-mouth crumb, a surprising ingredient mix and at least one healthy attribute to help offset our guilt for consuming that much butter before 10 a.m. Stephanie Izard’s blueberry and fennel-seed scones satisfy on all counts. At her modern diner, Little Goat, the Chicago chef updates the brunch staple by using fresh orange juice, toasted fennel seeds and dried blueberries (hello, antioxidants!). Still, we wanted to give her recipe one more healthy check mark. So we swapped in whole-wheat flour for the pale white stuff and created whole-grain scones that are every bit as light, fluffy and delicious as the original.

Makes 8 scones

2½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour

⅔ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch cubes

⅔ cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream, plus more for brushing

⅓ cup orange juice

¾ cup dried blueberries

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted

1 tablespoon coarse sugar, such as turbinado sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 400˚ and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the granulated sugar, baking powder and salt until combined. Using your hands or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter pieces are roughly the size of peas. Using a wooden spoon, mix in ⅔ cup of the heavy cream and the orange juice until the dough just comes together.

3. Add the blueberries and fennel seeds to the dough and knead it until just combined. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a disk about 1 inch thick and 10 inches in diameter. Cut the disk into 8 wedges and transfer the wedges to the prepared baking sheet. Loosely cover the wedges with plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.

4. Remove the dough wedges from the freezer. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the wedges with the remaining tablespoon heavy cream and sprinkle with the coarse sugar. Bake the scones for 15 minutes or until set and golden brown. Let the scones cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before serving.

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