Chiswick's Creative Culinary Cooperation

Local fruit growers and food producers brought together by Abundance


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In 2008 the idea for Abundance (formerly Chiswick Local Produce) came about from the simple need to do something with a glut of courgettes from the Chiswick House Kitchen Garden.

Founder Sarah Cruz told, "I was having dinner at the Roebuck, saw head chef Matt putting a tray of courgettes in the oven and asked if they were locally sourced. He said they were from Holland, so I offered him local ones and told him that the money raised would go to the Kitchen Garden charity. He loved the idea and 'Chiswick Local Produce' was born."

For two years Sarah took surplus fruit and veg from the Chiswick House Kitchen Garden and supplied local businesses including The Roebuck, Sam's Brasserie and Outsider Tart.

"Karen [Leibreich] and I joined forces in January this year changed the name to Abundance and started involving the local schools," says Sarah. "I have continued the relationship with local restaurants and thanks to the fruit tree mapping with schools we have access to a lot more fruit this year. I would like more restaurants to sign up because I know that come the peak of the season in late August to October we will have a lot of quince, plums and apples!"

Outsider Tart were the first bakers to take rhubarb, gooseberries and lavender from Abundance. When they opened their shop they dedicated a shelf to stocking local jams and cordials. "Our local jams and cordials are made by local customers utilizing either fruit and ingredients grown on their own allotments or fruit collected by Sarah and her team at Abundance," said Outsider Tart's David.

Below is Outsider Tart's muffin recipe created for locally grown mulberries:


For the streusel:
½ cup all-purpose flour (60g)
6 tablespoons granulated sugar (35g)
3-4 ounces cold unsalted butter (55g)
1-1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (4g)

For the muffins:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (195g)
3/4 cups granulated sugar (170g)
1 teaspoons cream of tartar (3g)
½ teaspoon baking soda (1.5g)
½ teaspoon salt (1.5g)
3 ounces cold unsalted butter (85g)
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries (250g)
1 large eggs at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla (1.5g)
¾ cups whole milk (170g)

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Grease a 6 jumbo muffin tin with melted butter or pan spray.

To make the streusel, combine the flour, sugar and nutmeg in a small bowl. Using a small fork or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until you get small flakes and crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the muffins, whisk together the flour, sugar, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using a paddle attachment, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly like small peas. Some crumbs will be smaller and some larger and that’s perfect. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add in the mulberries tossing them gently in the flour mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla and milk. Add the wet ingredients into the dry all at once and fold gently with a rubber spatula until just combined. Less is definitely more at this point. The batter will be on the stiff side.

With a large ice cream scoop, divide the batter among the 6 muffin cups. Sprinkle the streusel on top of the muffins and pat it gently into the batter.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and a small knife emerges clean. Cool in the pan 5-10 minutes before removing the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

August 10, 2010