Sugar Bird Berry Crumble

For the Crumble:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 sunflower seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup frozen butter, grated
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

For the Fruit Mixture:

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1 tsp lemon or orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon or orange juice
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    1 tsp cinnamon

“She’d been missing for close to three weeks already, out there eating twigs and berries or whatever. Sleeping with raccoons.”

-Sugar Birds by Cheryl Grey Bostrom

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Combine sugars, flour, oatmeal, sunflower seeds, salt, and baking powder, in a bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.

3. Add in butter, a few tbsp at a time and gently toss until butter is coated.

4. Add in vanilla extract and egg yolks. Stir with a fork until mostly combined

5. Add lemon juice and stir until mixture forms a dough-like consistency. It will still be fairly dry. You may add water or additional lemon juice if it’s too try to come together.

6. In a separate bowl, combine berries, zest, juice, sugar, corn starch, and cinnamon. Toss until the berries are coated.

7. Press half of the crumble mixture into the bottom of an 8 x 8 baking pan. Top with berry mixture and then sprinkle remaining crumble mixture over the top.

8. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the crumble is nicely browned and the berries are bubbling.

9. Allow to cool and serve with ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

the Book Inspiration

For years, Harris Hayes has taught his daughter, Aggie, the ways of the northern woods. So when her mother’s depression worsens, Harris shows the girl how to find and sketch the nests of wild birds as an antidote to sadness. Aggie is in a tree far overhead when her unpredictable mother spots her and forbids her to climb. Angry, the ten-year-old accidentally lights a tragic fire, then flees downriver. She lands her boat near untamed forest, where she hides among the trees and creatures she considers her only friends—determined to remain undiscovered.

A search party gathers by Aggie’s empty boat hours after Celia, fresh off the plane from Houston, arrives at her grandmother’s nearby farm. Hurting from her parents’ breakup, she also plans to run. But when she joins the hunt for Aggie, she meets two irresistible young men who compel her to stay. One is autistic; the other, dangerous.

Perfect for fans of The Scent Keeper, Where The Crawdads Sing, and The Great Alone, Sugar Birds immerses readers in a layered, evocative coming-of-age story set in the breathtaking natural world where characters encounter the mending power of forgiveness—for themselves and for those who have failed them.