Thursday, January 20, 2011

Knickerbocker Glory

"Dudley pretends to cry when he discovers that Harry will have to come along with him on his birthday trip. Aunt Petunia, fooled by his antics, assures Dudley that she won't let Harry spoil his special day. Little does she know! But before the day ends in disaster, Harry enjoys the Knickerbocker glory he has been allowed to finish when Dudley complains his doesn't have enough ice cream." The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.

For most of you (like me), probably do not know what Knickerbocker glory is. For all of those people, I will give you a bit of history on it. This is a good summertime, parfait-like treat that was first recorded in the United States in the 1930s, but instead of taking of here, it found its way across the ocean and became popular in England. How did it get it's curious name? some say from striped knickerbockers: the layers of ice cream, jelly, custard, fruit, and whipped cream look like striped knee breeches. Knickerbockers was also a term used to refer to New Yorkers, so this could be the origin as well. (courtesy, of The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook).

I was particularly excited to make this recipe upon first flipping through the cookbook. It seemed to be a very interesting desert. I was pretty excited because it was so different from anything else I had tried, since it contained custard, whipped cream, and ice cream that is all made by hand (with the exception of the ice cream). This recipe would be good a simple desert for a diner party or such, because of its beautiful presentation and ability to make ahead. The great thing about this is that most of it is made ahead, then you just basically combine it in layers in a pretty dish :)

To be totally honest, I would have to say that the desert had a really good flavor. The custard was soooo good. I have to admit that once I finished the custard, I was licking the spoon. Oh man, who can resist warm, creamy custard? Not me! The combination of the custard, ice cream, whipped cream, and fruit made a very creamy, and delicious treat. The jello in the desert gave the desert a nice twang, but a weird texture. Taking a bite of this creates a very different texture that shocked my palate at first. So, my first bite was a little shocking, from the contrast in texture, but the flavor was delicious. The flavor was so good, I almost made me another this morning, and I almost dipped back into the custard bowl again this evening as well. But considering me trying to watch my figure somewhat ;) I decided not to, but I make no promises for tomorrow.
                                                           I told you it was pretty ;)
Before I post the recipe, I want to let you all know that today I am giving you all your first Harry Potter trivia question. I will post a new question up every week along with the weekly recipe. At the end of the Harry Potter Project (when all of the recipes are made), the person with the most correct answers will receive their very own cookbook. Just simply post your answers into the comment box. If you do not have a google account, just select anonymous, and put your name into the comment box with your answer. So good Luck! I will see you all back here this weekend when I will be attempting to make Roast Pheasant! Happy Cooking!

Harry Potter Trivia Question: What were the names of Harry Potter's Parents?

Knickerbocker Glory
2 cups custard (recipe follows)
Whipped cream (recipe follows)
2 cups any flavor Jell-O (prepared in advance) (I happened to use strawberry)
Chopped toasted nuts, such as peanuts (I used pecans)
2 cups chopped fresh fruit (such as, peaches or berries. I used strawberries and blueberries)
1 pint vanilla ice cream
Chocolate syrup

1. Prepare the custard, whipped cream, and Jell-O in advance; Chop and toast the nuts ahead as well. (If you are new to toasting nuts as I, just simply heat your oven to 350 degrees F. and place your chopped nuts on a baking sheet and cook for just a few minutes, you do not want to brown them).

2. Wash and chop fruit into bite-size pieces.

3. Set out six tall sundae glasses. Divide 1/2 pint of the ice-cream into the bottom of the six glasses. Evenly divide 1 cup of the fruit into the glasses. Then evenly divide 1 cup of the Jell-O over the fruit and 1 cup of custard over the Jell-O. Repeat the layering once with the remaining ice cream, fruit, Jell-O, and custard.

4. Top with the whipped cream, toasted nuts, and chocolate syrup. (If you want to save time and do not wish to make the whipped cream, you can buy it, it does taste the same. Although, isn't everything better from scratch? It is fun to do together as a family as well).

1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Combine 2 tablespoons of the sugar with the cornstarch and salt in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the milk and cream and stir until the cornstarch dissolves. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.

2. Cook the milk mixture over medium-high heat until the mixture is just starting to bubble and thicken. reduce the heat to low. Temper the yolks by slowly pouring 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into the yolks while whisking constantly. Pour the yolk mixture into the saucepan, stirring constantly.

3. Turn the heat back up to medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly but gently, until the mixture is thick. Once the mixture starts to thicken, it must be handled gently or the cornstarch will lose its thickening power. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

4. Strain the custard through a sieve into another bowl. (you may need to push it through the sieve with a rubber spatula; this gets rid of lumps.) Cover the custard with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, and chill until it is set.

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and whip until firm peaks form and stay in place when you lift up the beater and turn the bowl upside down.


  1. James and Lilly Potter<3

    Heather Hawks

  2. This looks like it would be a very great dessert for the holidays, especailly for thanksgiving or christmas. The red and white colors go very well with the occation. :)

    Heather Hawks

  3. yes they do! I never thought of the colors matching the holiday colors. Yea, it is a great desert to serve to a group of people! you should definatley try this one!

  4. Note: The other day, I was having a particular rough day so I took me a break at work and make myself one of these with the left overs I had brought with me. It melted away the tensions of the day, and left utter bliss. (mash the jello up just a tiny bit before putting in your glass, so the desert will just be creamy in your mouth)

  5. Yes, you are correct! One for heather!

  6. The correct answer is Lilly and James Potter. Thank you.

  7. sorry Michael, but you didn't answer in time ;) better luck on the next question!

  8. Really love it here! Keep it up!
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  9. Thank you very much! I shall certainly try.