I created this recipe for the Shoebox Café's Alexander Smalls, who owned Cafe Beulah, a popular spot for Southern food in New York's Flatiron district for years.
For the crumb mixture:
• 2 sticks of butter
• 1 1/2 cups white sugar
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1 cup flour
• 1 cup oats
• 1 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)
For the filling:
• 6 lemons
• 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
• 2 pints blackberries
Cut chilled butter into two-inch pieces and put into food processor. Add white sugar, brown sugar, flour, and oats. Pulse food processor to create a coarse mixture. Do not over-blend. You want dime-sized pieces of butter.
If you choose to add walnuts or pecans, chop them and add them to the mixture.
Zest three of the lemons. You want three good tablespoons of lemon zest.
Cut all of the lemons in half and juice, straining the seeds. Add the juice and zest to the sweetened condensed milk.
Spray a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with non-stick baking spray.
Add half of the crumb mixture to the bottom of the baking dish. Pour the lemon mixture on top of the crumb mixture, and then place the blackberries on top.
Top with the rest of the crumb mixture and bake at 350 F for 50 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.
To read Regina's story about blackberry betty and how she invented this recipe, click here.