For this week’s trip down culinary memory lane, Brian Stormont looks back on the knickerbocker glory made famous by High Street burger chain Wimpy.
No visit to 70s burger joint Wimpy was complete without this classic dessert. I’m, of course, talking about the knickerbocker glory.
Made famous by the High Street burger bar, the knickerbocker glory was the treat of all treats in you popped in for something to eat there.
Using your large thin spoon you tucked into an enormous glass overfilled with soft ice cream, strawberries, fruit cocktail, nuts, cream and strawberry sauce, all finished off with a flake.
It was like a 99 in a glass with bells on.
This dish is actually very simple to prepare, but looks incredibly impressive. And if you were to dish this up at a dinner party you will certainly have the wow factor – even nowadays!
It is believed that the knickerbocker glory first came to prominence in London in the early 1920s when it also sometimes included meringue.
The word “knickerbocker” comes from the surname of many Dutch settlers in New York which became a nickname for old-style European-Americans, and their distinctive trousers. As a sweet desert, however, the origin is unclear, although it does seem to have been in the United Kingdom.
One theory is that the knickerbocker glory was invented by Lyon’s Bakeries in the 1920s as part of a fantasy range of ice-creams for their “Corner House” cafes alongside other outerwear-themed desserts, such as the “plus four”.
Although Wimpy made it famous, it was ultimately dropped by the fast food chain in 2011 because of falling demand. However, it remains a favourite in many ice cream parlours and restaurants up and down the country.
The first Wimpy opened in 1954, serving “frothy coffee” and burgers to young people hungry in the United State. At its 1970s peak, it had thousands of restaurants in more than 20 countries.
Nowadays only a few Wimpy restaurants remain in the country, with many other burger joints taking over increasingly more of the market share in recent decades.
- Vanilla ice cream
- A few strawberries cut in half
- A tin of fruit cocktail
- Strawberry ice cream sauce
- Whipped cream
- A flake
- Chopped nuts (optional)
- In a tall milkshake glass, place some of your fruit in the base.
- Add a couple of scoops of ice cream.
- Add some more fruit and layer with ice cream again.
- Squeeze in some of your strawberry sauce so that it fills the gaps in the fruit and ice cream.
- Top with your whipped cream and add a flake – and the chopped nuts if using.
- Grab your long spoon and tuck in.