Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Knickerbocker Glory

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month?! And that yesterday was National Ice Cream Day?! How appropriate then, that both yesterday and today we have delicious ice cream treats to make! Knickerbocker Glory is the next food item to appear, and it is delicious!!!! 

"They ate in the zoo restaurant, and when Dudley had a tantrum because his knickerbocker glory didn't have enough ice cream on top, Uncle Vernon bought him another one and Harry was allowed to finish the first" (Sorcerer's Stone 26).

It turns out that there is no official recipe for knickerbocker glory. Like an ice cream sundae, everyone makes it a little differently, according to how s/he enjoyed it throughout his/her life. Having grown up in the US, I have never had the pleasure of eating a knickerbocker glory, so I will use the recipe found on page 7 of The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. I must add however, that in my research of knickerbocker glory, I found several people (presumably British) who were horrified to learn that some people (Dinah Bucholz included) include Jell-O in their recipes. I learned that it traditionally includes vanilla and strawberry ice cream, traditionally served with peach melba sauce, not chocolate syrup, often includes liqueur when served to adults, and is garnished with a wafer cookie. So, all that being said, let's begin!

Firstly, you should know that this recipe contains several separate recipes, and the Jell-O will probably take at least 4 hours to set.

You Will Need:
2 cups of Custard (recipe below)
Whipped Cream (recipe below)
2 cups any flavor of Jell-O (I used raspberry), prepared in advance
Toasted nuts, such as peanuts, chopped (or not)
2 cups fresh fruit, such as peaches or berries (I used strawberries)
1 pint vanilla ice cream
Chocolate Syrup (not pictured)

Prepare the custard, Jell-O, and whipped cream in advance. Chop the nuts as well. 

For the Custard, You Will Need:
1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
3 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup Heavy cream (or 1 1/2 cups whole milk)
3 large egg yolks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Combine 2 Tbs of sugar with the cornstarch and salt in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the milk and cream and gently stir until the cornstarch dissolves.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the other 2 Tbs of sugar.
3. Cook the milk mixture over medium high heat until it is just starting to bubble and thicken. Reduce the heat to low. 
4. Temper the egg yolks by pouring 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks while whisking constantly (If you add the cold eggs straight into the hot milk in the saucepan, they will cook. Eww.).
5. Pour the tempered yolk mixture into the milk mixture, stirring constantly.
6. Turn the heat back up to medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly but gently, until the mixture is thick. If you stir too vigorously, the cornstarch will lose it's thickening power.
7. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
8. Strain the custard through a sieve into another bowl (or don't strain, I didn't. But I also like lumpy custard). Cover the custard and chill until set.

For the Jell-O You Will Need:
1 box of Jell-O
1 Cup Boiling Water
1 Cup Cold Water

1. Do you really not know how to make Jell-O? Follow the instructions on the box.

For the Whipped Cream You Will Need:
1 cup Heavy Cream
3 Tbs Confectioner's Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1. Place the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
2. Beat with an electric mixer on medium until stiff peaks form and stay in place when you turn the bowl upside down.

And now, back to the Knickerbocker Glory Process!

1. Once you have your finished Custard, Jell-O, and Whipped Cream, you should wash and chop your fruit as necessary.
2. Set out your sundae glasses (the recipe will accommodate 6 servings). Layer your ingredients thus: Ice cream, fruit, Jell-O, Custard, and repeat once more.
3. Top with whipped cream, chopped nuts, and chocolate syrup. And top with a cherry or wafer cookie!

Enjoy your Knickerbocker Glory! And revel in the fact that you get to eat a whole one, when poor Harry only got to finish Dudley's leftovers!


  1. A Knickerbocker Glory should have about three flavours of ice cream...and NO Jello. It's basically like a banana split sans banana.

  2. I did some research before using the "Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook" version of this recipe, and I found that everyone seemed to have her own opinion on whether or not Jello should be included. Some said, no jello ever, some said add jello if you like it, some said it's not knickerbocker glory until there's jello. I personally thought the jello made the texture odd, but I'm also a die-hard ice cream fan. Maybe it's a regional thing? Or maybe it's just mis-informed mothers passing down jello-laden recipes to their children :)