AskDefine | Define crumble

Dictionary Definition



1 fall apart; "the building crimbled after the explosion"; "Negociations broke down" [syn: crumple, tumble, break down, collapse]
2 break or fall apart into fragments; "The cookies crumbled"; "The Sphinx is crumbling" [syn: fall apart]
3 fall into decay or ruin; "The unoccupied house started to decay" [syn: decay, delapidate]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. To fall apart; to disintegrate.
  2. To render into crumbs.


to fall apart
to render into crumbs

Extensive Definition

A crumble is a dish of British origin containing stewed fruit topped with a crumbly mixture of fat (usually butter), flour, and sugar. The crumble is baked in an oven until the topping is crisp. It is often served with custard, cream or ice cream as a hearty, warm dessert after a meal.
Popular fruits used in crumbles include apple, blackberry, peach, rhubarb, gooseberry, and plum. The topping may also include rolled oats, ground almonds or other nuts, and sometimes sour milk (e.g. vinegar and milk) is added to give the crumble a more extravagant taste. Brown sugar is often sprinkled over the crumble topping, which caramelises slightly when the pudding is baked. In some recipes the topping is made from broken biscuits (cookies in American English) or even breakfast cereals, but this is not traditional.
Crumbles, sometimes incorrectly called crisps, originated in Britain during World War II. Due to strict rationing the ingredients required to make the bases of pies contained too much of the necessary flour, fat and sugar to make the pastry. So a simple mixture of flour, margarine and sugar was used to make the top of the crumble. The dish was also popular due to its simplicity, as it allowed women more time to do other tasks.
In some parts of America a very similar dish may be called a crisp. It is also similar to a fruit cobbler (popular in the USA), although the topping for a cobbler is generally smoother and less crumbly.

See also

crumble in German: Crumble
crumble in Spanish: Crumble
crumble in French: Crumble

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abate, ablate, abrade, atomize, bate, be eaten away, beat, bite the dust, bray, break, break down, break up, brecciate, canker, cave in, collapse, come apart, come to dust, come unstuck, comminute, conk out, consume, consume away, contriturate, corrode, corrupt, crack up, crumb, crumble into dust, crumble to dust, crush, decay, decline, decompose, decrease, deliquesce, die away, diminish, disintegrate, disjoin, disorganize, dissolve, dive, droop, drop, drop off, dwindle, ebb, effloresce, erode, fade, fail, faint, fall, fall away, fall into decay, fall off, fall to dust, fall to pieces, fester, fission, fizzle out, flag, flour, fragment, gangrene, give out, give way, go bad, go downhill, go soft, go to pieces, grain, granulate, granulize, grate, grind, grind to powder, hit the skids, languish, lessen, let up, levigate, mash, melt away, mildew, mill, mold, molder, mortify, mush, necrose, peg out, pestle, peter out, pine, plummet, plunge, poop out, pound, powder, pulverize, putrefy, putresce, rankle, reduce to powder, rot, run low, sag, scrunch, shard, shiver, shred, shrink, sink, smash, sphacelate, split, spoil, squash, subside, suppurate, tail off, taint, topple, triturate, tumble, turn, wane, waste, waste away, weaken, wear, wear away, wear thin, wilt, yield
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