My sister and I share the same birthday, three years apart. And five minutes, if you want to be precise.
When we were young, we’d have joint birthday parties at which we played all the usual games – musical statues, pin the tail on the donkey, pass the parcel…
We’d wear our favourite party clothes… I still remember the pale yellow lace dress with a wide ribbon tied at the back, which was handed down to my sister after I tearfully outgrew it. One year mum made us satin jumpsuits, mine was baby blue and my sister’s was pale pink.
Mum would make us fantastic themed birthday cakes such as fairy castles, ladybirds and trains.
And we would help mum make knickerbocker glories, to serve at the party.
A knickerbocker glory is essentially an ice cream sundae, served in a tall glass that is narrow at the bottom and flared at the top. There isn’t an exact recipe, but as far as I’m concerned, ice cream, jelly, tinned fruit and a syrupy sauce are essential. A cherry on the top is a classic decorative touch, and a little whipped cream doesn’t go amiss either!
One theory is that the name derives from knickerbockers – baggy, knee-length trousers worn by children, particularly boys. In the first half of the 20th Century, young boys traditionally wore shorts in summer and knickerbockers in winter, graduating to long trousers only once they older.
In my childhood, during the ’70s, we called those peddle pushers and I was particularly fond of my maroon velvet pair, which I thought very fetching indeed.
An alternative suggestion for the derivation of the name comes from America, where early settlers from Holland to New York, then known as Nieuw Amsterdam, were called knickerbockers.
In either case, there’s no obvious link between either the shorts or the Dutch immigrants and this ice cream sundae.
As kids, we’d build up the knickerbocker glories layer by layer, perhaps a layer of strawberry jelly with tinned mandarin segments, then a layer of vanilla ice cream, followed by a different coloured jelly…
The Gupta Family Knickerbocker Glory
Ingredients – your choice of:
Chocolate or fruit sauce
Start with fruit and one of the jellies, and leave to set in the fridge.
Add additional meringue, fruit and jelly layers as you like.
Add ice cream, whipped cream, sauce and cherries just before serving.
This is my own entry for the March Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream event.