Pronunciation: [TIHM-buhl; tihm-BAHL]

1. A mold, generally high-sided, drum-shaped and slightly tapered at the bottom and closed end, used to bake various dishes. 2. A dish—usually based on custard, forcemeat or risotto combined with meat, fish, vegetables, cheese, etc.—baked in such a mold. The dish is unmolded and often served as an entrée (and sometimes as a first course) with a sauce such as béchamel. 3. A pastry shell made by dipping a timbale iron first into a batter, then into deep, hot fat. When the crisp pastry is pushed off the iron and cooled, it can be filled with a sweet or savory mixture. Timbale irons come in various sizes and shapes such as hearts, stars and butterflies. They're available in specialty cookware stores.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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