Ramekin is thought to come from a Dutch word for "toast" or the German for "little cream."




Ramequin, Ramekin dish.


(ramə kin)[RAM-ih-kihn]ræməkin


English Noun




A type of dish




French Ramequin from Low German ramken, diminutive of cream, circa 1706. middle Dutch rammeken (cheese dish) dialect variant of rom (cream), similar to old English ream and German rahm. Ancient French cookbooks refer to ramekins as being garnished fried bread.


1. A food mixture, (casserole) specifically a preparation of cheese, especially with breadcrumbs and/or eggs or unsweetened pastry baked on a mould or shell.

2. With a typical volume of 50-250 ml (2-8 oz), it is a small fireproof glass or earthenware individual dish similar in size and shape to a cup, or mould used for cooking or baking and serving sweet or savoury foods.

3. Formerly the name given to toasted cheese; now tarts filled with cream cheese.

4. A young child usually between the ages of 3 months and 11 years exhibiting a compulsion to force or "ram" their head into various objects and structures.

These days, a ramekin is generally regarded as a small single serve heatproof serving bowl used in the preparation or serving of various food dishes, designed to be put into hot ovens and to withstand high temperatures. They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface. Ramekins have more lately been standardized to a size with a typical volume of 50-250 ml (2-8 ounce) and are now used for serving a variety of sweet and savoury foods, both entrée and desert.

They are also an attractive addition to the table for serving nuts,dips and other snacks. Because they are designed to hold a serving for just one person, they are usually sold in sets of four, six, or eight. Ramekins now are solid white, round, with a fluted texture covering the outside, and a small lip. Please bear in mind that whatever you ask for them on Internet auction sites, someone is still getting the same thing in an op shop for peanuts.

However, there are hundreds of decorative ramekins that came in a variety of shapes and sizes. They came in countless colours and finishes and many were made by our leading artists and ceramicists. My collection has ramekins with One handle only, fixed to the body at one point only. If it has no handle, it is a bowl. If it has two, it is a casserole dish. But the glory day of the Australian Studio Art ramekin is well and truly over. See some here, ask questions or leave answers.

P.S. Remember, just as real men don't eat quiche, real ramekins don't have lids or two handles. Also remember, two handles makes it a casserole dish. Also, please note If it aint got a handle, it's just a bowl.

P.P.S. To all you cretins who advertise your ramekins by associating them with "Eames" or "Eames Era". Get your hand off it, you are not kidding anyone. The Eames people have told me that they never made ramekins.

P.P.P.s To all the illiterates out there in cyberspace, just as there is no "I" in team, there is no "G" in Ramekin. I am the Rameking, they are ramekins.

If you have a set of Grandma's ramekins at the back of a kitchen cupboard, have a look through the site, maybe you will identify them. Thank-you for looking.

There are many of you out there that have knowledge of Australian pottery. Please let me know if you have anything that I can add to the notes. It is important to get the information recorded. You probably know something that nobody else does.

Please note that while your comments are most welcome, any that contain a link to another site will no longer be published.


Monday, July 13, 2009


These ramekins are incised "Isobel" to the base. the shape and style are like those of Guy Boyd and Ray Cook, perhaps an early work copying their Bentleigh studio.  Copyright was a little more flexible in those days.
Standard reference on pottery marks (Ford) refers to Hilda Ilich as being Isobel. I think he may be incorrect on this one. Helen Ilich, Painter and Ceramic Artist was born in Croatia in 1914, migrated to Australia 1950. She worked at Ellis' in 1955, then Guy Boyd’s pottery, Crosbie Road, East Bentleigh. She left Boyds around 1960 to work at Isobel. She left Isobel after 2 years to return to Ellis. Helen then taught painting to women from a studio in her home. She continued painting into the mid 1990s and died in 2002.  Isobel  probably refers to Isobel Joy Fraser who ran the show but I have no confirmation or information on this.  I believe that both Helen and Isobel worked together at Boyds.
Described as "Hand Made", the ramekins at the top are thrown with the chocolate brown colour mixed into the clay and a light glaze applied to the interior. There are no chips cracks or crazing. They were made by  "Isobal Art Pottery" on the Maroondah Highway in Croydon, Victoria, now an outer suburb of Melbourne. She started by underglaze painting them with her name "H.Ilich", Little information is available on her or her work other than her working with Guy Boyd in Bentleigh before moving to Croydon where she worked helping Isobel in her normally one-person operation in a shed at the back of a shop. Any other information would be appreciated.
Diameter; 100mm
Height; 48mm
Weight; 300gm

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