Preserving the Harvest

Preserving the Harvest

Part of Ep. 1603 Bailey's Harbor

Learn how to make bounce - a high-proof alcohol fruit preserve with Door County cherries. Caleb Whitney of Greenside Up Landscaping shares his recipe.

Premiere date: Sep 17, 2008

TRANSCRIPT+
Wisc Gardener Transcript: 

Shelley:
We're going to learn a most unusual way d in to preserve the harvest.  We're in Door County at the Bjorkland Inn a wonderful lodge and estate about 400+ acres on the shores of Lake Michigan in Baileys Harbor.  These are cherries preserved in an odd manner, I think.  I'm with Caleb Whitney, of Greenside Up Landscaping.  Caleb, cherries in a jar.  I mean, this doesn't seem odd to me. 

Caleb:
This is a very old tradition, Door County Cherry Bounce. 

Shelley:
What's that? 

Caleb:
Bounce, after informal research is a high-proof alcohol fruit preserve. 

Shelley:
Not a jam, though, or something. 

Caleb:
Not a jam.  Not an infusion.  Not fermented.  It is sipped and chewy, that's the difference.  That's what makes it Bounce. 

Shelley:
So we're not sieving this off, we're eating the whole thing.  And you said it's a very old tradition? 

Caleb:
As long as Door County's been growing cherries. 

Shelley:
Okay, let's talk some more about it.  Is this a canned process? 

Caleb:
It's a simple process, much simpler, actually which is why it's a whole lot of fun.  The jar needs to be sterilized as if you are going to can. 

Shelley:
So read the instructions, heat and wash them, sterilize them.  And then they're hot?  

Caleb:
No, after they're sterilized, the similarity to canning ends.  You're using raw fruit and you're using high-proof alcohol as your preservative. 

Shelley:
Why don't you show me.  We have a jar, cleaned and sterilized.  But it's quite cold. 

Caleb:
Traditional bounce would've been brandy, tart cherries n and maybe a little sweetener. 

Shelley:
What proportions? 

Caleb:
It's all based on a very simple recipe, any sized jar. 

Shelley:
Ah, that one's mine!

Caleb:
There you go. 

Shelley:
That one's mine, too!

Caleb:
Leave the stems on. 

Shelley:
Really?  Okay. 

Caleb:
It is designed to be eaten. 

Shelley:
Oh, sure, then you can... 

Caleb:
So that goes in.  About 3/4 full with the fruit. 

Shelley:
So whatever jar, 3/4 full. 

Caleb:
You can add up to a half-inch of sweetener at the bottom or you can leave it tart. 

Shelley:
Then you would put brandy up to the top. 

Caleb:
And hand tighten it. 

Shelley:
Then you drink it tomorrow? 

Caleb:
Think of it as a great wedding gift.  Give it to the new bride and groom and recommend they consume it on their first or fifth anniversary. 

Shelley:
We're talking months and years.  The longer the better? 

Caleb:
The longer, the smoother it gets. 

Shelley:
Okay, so we would be dating this and labeling it. 

Caleb:
It's eight-year vintage. 

Shelley:
And that's the traditional.  I see where we've stepped away from that.  I'm looking at some of your labels. 

Caleb:
We've had some real fun making these.  It's as much fun to make as it is to consume.  You experiment and you play. 

Shelley:
You have key lime vodka here with cherries. 

Caleb:
We have cherry honey.  We have blackberry brandy. 

Shelley:
That's the one I've got in my hand here. 

Caleb:
Really, any flavor.  n It has to be high-proof alcohol.  It can't be beer or wine. 

Shelley:
We should mention, as much fun as it is don't have too much fun.  This is something to do in moderation. 

Caleb:
Very much so, because this is straight alcohol.  It's not to be consumed as if it's a glass... 

Shelley:
Filled with juice, or something. 

Caleb:
It's to be savored and enjoyed. 

Shelley:
Now, is it just cherries? 

Caleb:
Nope, harvest preservation. 

Shelley:
So anything that grows? 

Caleb:
We've had a lot of fun.  If you choose smaller jars you can really experiment. 

Shelley:
There's not too much cost. 

Caleb:
Wisconsin traditional cranberries, blueberries Add a sprig of mint.  Change your sweetener, molasses.  Door County tradition, again, with maple syrup. 

Shelley:
What's this one? 

Caleb:
Oh! Rhubarb. 

Shelley:
I take it that's a good one! I heard you mention earlier, you can even experiment with something like pumpkin. 

Caleb:
We could try it.  You can really let your imagination go.  Herbs.  We tried lovage. 

Shelley:
That's kind of a celery flavored herb. 

Caleb:
And it was a little strong. 

Shelley:
Some things may not work. 

Caleb:
Exactly, but try it, and change the alcohol.  Every alcohol has a different flavor.  Rum, brandy, vodka, gin. 

Shelley:
You've got tequila here. 

Caleb:
That's for the risk taker. 

Shelley:
Okay, what's this?  This looks scary. 

Caleb:
All right, you're going to do tequila, jalapeno a little bit of agave nectar.  And that Bounce is dangerous!

Shelley:
I would think spicy, too.  How would you possibly use that? 

Caleb:
You'd mix that with something like tomato juice. 

Shelley:
And maybe just a very small amount.  You've got some of your other favorites here.  Let's take a look.  This is pretty!

Caleb:
That is a cherry bounce, vodka cherry, chocolate dipped cherry martini. 

Shelley:
Chocolate around the rim, right there I'm happy.  And then what's this? 

Caleb:
That is a vodka pineapple Bounce. 

Shelley:
Pineapple Bounce?  So really, the sky's the limit. 

Caleb:
It's mixed with orange juice. 

Shelley:
This is for sipping. 

Caleb:
Next is cherry molasses brandy bounce as a cordial.  You'll sip it, enjoy it, and once again... 

Shelley:
You can eat the fruit. 

Caleb:
You can sip and chew.  That's not a garnish.  That's part of the drink in all of these. 

Shelley:
This one looks like it's perfect to pick up and try. 

Caleb:
Some fruit products Bounce better than others.  The raspberries really start to break down.  You're going to want to work with this.  This is an ice cream version of raspberry and rum. 

Shelley:
That is heavenly.  What fun! This isn't for kids.  This is a grown-up hobby. 

Caleb:
Very much so. 

Shelley:
You'll have recipes for us on our Web site. 

Caleb:
Yes, I will. 

Shelley:
Great.  Thank you so much.  Thank you.  Enjoy. 

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