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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.