Knickerbocker Glory

by Ala
1 sundae
5 min

Harry had the best morning he’d had in a long time. He was careful to walk a little way apart from the Dursleys so that Dudley and Piers, who were starting to get bored with the animals by lunchtime, wouldn’t fall back on their favorite hobby of hitting him. 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.

Harry felt, afterward, that he should have known it was all too good to last.

You didn’t think I was going to talk all about my time England and NOT blabber on about Harry Potter, did you? Naive Muggle fools! Muahahaha.

Traveling through the UK was like walking through the pages of all of my favorite children’s books. I got to visit castles that looked just like Hogwarts, Kensington Gardens (the birthplace of Peter Pan), and even King’s Cross (including the real Platform 9 3/4!). Now that I’m back, I cannot wait to pay these favorite books another visit while imagining them taking place at the very spots where I stood!

Knickerbocker glory is probably my favorite single food item from the HP series, immortalized in a line about Dudley throwing a tantrum “because his knickerbocker glory didn’t have enough ice cream on top” (anybody who knows me at all also knows that I love quoting that line in everyday conversations about ice cream). Until I traveled to the UK last month, however, I had never tried the famed treat–which, of course, only hardened my resolution that I would do so in the native land that had popularized it. It wasn’t until our last day in England that the coveted opportunity popped up in York, where we were grabbing dinner after the horse races. After moseying around town for over an hour perusing our options, we finally settled on a cozy traditional English restaurant that, lo and behold, served knickerbocker glory!

Cue hallelujah choruses, because I was seriously excited.

Turns out, Knickerbocker is really nothing more than a glorified-sounding ice cream sundae–but because it’s a quintessentially British thing and also sounds super British, I enjoyed every moment of it and immediately added it to the list of things I’d make the moment I got home. And then, because apparently I can’t for the life of me take a photograph of frozen anything without it melting on me faster than I can assemble it, I decided to gif everything so that you could see it in all its molten, melty glory.

I decided to layer fresh fruit (strawberries and tangerines) with vanilla ice cream, caramel, whipped cream, and chopped nuts, but the sky is the limit with this British dessert: meringue, custard, and any combo of ice creams and syrups are fair game. And hey, if there’s not enough ice cream for your taste, no need to throw a tantrum, Dudley-kins darlin’: just add to your heart’s content!

Recipe details
  • 1  sundae
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 0 Minutes Total time: 5 min
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  • 5 strawberries, washed, hulled, and chopped
  • 1 seedless mandarin orange, separated into peeled segments
  • 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 1 spoonful caramel sauce
  • 1/2 cup freshly whipped cream
  • 1 spoonful chopped almonds

In a tall glass (this is essential! well, sort of), layer: strawberries, 1 scoop ice cream, orange, caramel sauce, 2 scoops ice cream, whipped cream, chopped nuts.
Feel free to add and customize! Other suggestions: meringues, custards, syrups, other fruits & nuts.
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