We believe that only the highest quality ingredients should go into any jar of Blake Hill Preserves, and they should be locally grown when in season from organic farms, or farms that practice ecologically sensitive farming practices. We are lucky to be able to source our seasonal fresh fruits from local farms typically within 20 miles or less of Blake Hill.
We are also very particular about the varieties of any given fruit we are sourcing. For example, we have found that Reine des Reinettes, Cox’s Orange Pippin and Northern Spy, three varieties of heirloom apple, are some of the best for chutney.
We regularly contribute to events supporting local charities, with a focus on those providing quality food to people in need. We regularly donate preserves to our local foodbanks, meals on wheels service, and for auction at fund raising charitable events.
All Natural Ingredients
We rely on sustainably-grown, whole fruits and vegetables and never use any artificial ingredients in our preserves. We achieve the perfect set, or consistency, the old-fashioned way, by slowly cooking every batch of our chutneys, conserves, preserves and marmalades. This evaporates any excess moisture and concentrates the fresh-fruit flavors; you can taste the difference in every jar!
We never use artificial preservatives and instead rely on apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and just the right amount of non-GMO certified pure cane sugar to naturally retain freshness. In doing so, our chutneys, conserves, preserves and marmalades always taste super fresh, juicy and fruity.
Because we rely on whole fruits and vegetables—and little else—our preserves are always fat free and low in sodium. Many are also high in antioxidants, thanks to our use of super fruits like blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raisins and currants.
Blake Hill is also kosher-certified by "OU", with the "pareve" designation certifying there are no dairy or meat ingredients in any of our chutneys, conserves, preserves and marmalades. This certification is therefore also helpful for those with dairy allergies, and vegetarians.
Vicky Allard and Joe Hanglin formed Blake Hill Preserves in 2009. One weekend, Vicky, a third-generation English preserve maker, turned a bumper crop of wild blackberries growing on Blake Hill Farm into 70 jars of glistening jam. A friend who was visiting snuck a jar of this jam to the local grocery store and returned an hour later with the newspaper and Vicky’s first jam order. Blake Hill Preserves gives Vicky and Joe the chance to cultivate their love of traditional preserve making and to constantly explore new recipes for creating the most delicious, artisanal chutneys, conserves, preserves and marmalades from the highest-quality, non-GMO or organic ingredients.
Vicky is a third-generation preserve maker from Hampshire, England who learned the craft of jam making from her mother. Her grandmother was the resident chutney expert. Vicky spent much of her childhood in her mother’s kitchen surrounded by the intoxicating, sweet aroma of fresh-fruit jams bubbling away on the stove. Vicky watched—and eventually began to help—as her mother filled jar after jar with gleaming, jewel-toned preserves made with locally-sourced fruit. When Vicky was not in the kitchen, she was out and about at area farms with her father picking the ripest, juiciest berries for her mother to turn into preserves.
Joe brings his own unique culinary heritage to Blake Hill Preserves. Joe grew up in Gibraltar, at the entrance to the Mediterranean between Spain and Morocco, and has British, Spanish and Italian ancestry. Joe’s mother and grandmother were formidable cooks who sourced all their food locally. One of Joe’s most vivid childhood memories is of helping his mother shop for spices, fresh fruits and vegetables at the Saturday farmers’ market in Spain and then cooking Spanish-and-Moroccan-influenced food with his mother and grandmother back at home. Joe’s culinary influence on Blake Hill Preserves is clear, especially in the line of chutneys, which are made with the highest-quality fresh fruits and vegetables and ground spices often inspired by Moroccan tagines or the flavors of the Middle East.
Blake Hill Farm sits on the hillsides of Blake Hill at the end of a quiet country lane near historic Grafton Village in Vermont’s Green Mountains. Almost two centuries after the farm’s founding, on a beautiful snowy day in 2004, we discovered Blake Hill Farm. We immediately fell in love with the views of the Green Mountains, the meandering old stone walls and the beautiful wooded trails. We purchased the farm shortly after this first visit and committed ourselves to bringing the property back to life. During our first summer here, we discovered an abundance of wild blackberry and raspberry bushes to which we added blueberries, gooseberries and blush-pink rhubarb, all of which we use in our line of artisanal jams, chutneys and marmalades. We also cultivated a flourishing wildflower meadow overgrown with lLupines, purple Echinacea and Sweet Williams.
In 2012, we realized another dream—the completion of our production kitchen, The Kitchen at Blake Hill —which sits on the sunny, main meadow of the farm. The cottage is a reconstruction of Vicky’s great grandmother Jessamine’s cottage in England. We were inspired by Vicky’s memories—of playing in her great grandmother’s orchards and of gathering for traditional afternoon tea with homemade jam and scones—to build the cottage. Our own cottage has a beautiful, strawberry-red roof and we are planning an array of kitchen garden beds for next spring.