I came across a new cooking term last week while making ice cream. I’m not sure I’ll ever use it in practice, but since we’re … ahem… all about education around here I though I’d pass it along.
If you’ve ever made a custard or glaze, there is a moment in time before the liquid begins to full tighten or boil (resulting in scrambled eggs if you are making a custard) when the liquid will cover the back of a wooden spoon. At just the right moment, you can take your finger, and swipe it across the spoon, and the liquid will be thick enough that it doesn’t drip back over the swipe. It’s usually at this moment that you want to quickly remove your pot from the heat. Well, and I’ve made it some 20+ years of cooking and didn’t know that this process had its own word.
In cooking, nappe refers to either the ability of a liquid to “coat the back of a spoon” or the act of coating a food (e.g. to nappe a leg of lamb with glaze).