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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kryal Castle

It is not only the specialist potters who made ramekins. They can come from anywhere. These are an example. Kryal Castle is near Ballarat in Victoria. It’s a replica medieval castle, supposedly the southern hemisphere’s third largest castle. The castle itself is a vast complex of gothic towers, turrets, parapets and battlements, complete with moat and drawbridge and a host of activities including medieval re-enactments.

For the former owner and creator Keith Ryall, the castle represented a kingdom he always wanted to live in from his childhood. Keith built stage one between 1972 and 1974 for the opening with the help of local and overseas craftspeople and stonemasons. King Keith Ryall and his wife Queen Joyce were often spotted in the crowd. Various crafts have been practiced at the castle over the years. These souvenir earthenware ramekins are from the 1970s and the design looking suspiciously like medieval pottery. They have a small stamp "Kryal Castle" on the side of the base. Check out where the wire has left a pattern on the base as it was run through to remove the clay after throwing.

There was a story that Keith himself may have made these as he was handy at a lot of things.  I favour the idea that they were made by a local Ballarat potter who traded under the name "Old Ballarat Pottery".  

The property has been for sale for the past few years, with one sale falling through.  Several buyers were reported to be interested, some more outrageous than others. A new buyer, (January 2012) "Castle Tourism and Entertainment have now completed a multi million dollar redevelopment that has turned it into a world-class medieval adventure park.  This consortium consists of several local Ballarat business people and a British / Singaporean company.  The castle re-opened on the 2nd of March 2013 and  will be one of Victoria's top tourist attractions.  Go up there and spend a full day, or stay overnight as I did recently.


  1. Hello Rameking,
    Thank you for your wonderful Blog. I use it to look up many Australian Pottery names and you add that extra information that makes me like the potters even more. I was pleased to find your Kryal Castle Ramekins as I have just found three of them to match yours (would you be interested in three more?). I also have a bottle/vase to match them ...which had previously been unidentified. In addition I have some ramekins by Beryl Armstrong and also by Vande (NSW) which you maybe interested in getting photos of?? Other than through the blog how should I contact you? I don't wish to post my personal details on here to be published.

  2. Thank you for your kind words. If you want to leave your details, these comments are not posted automatically, but I vet them before publication. It does not mean that I will respond. Many comments don't make it because they contain links to other sites, others, like yours , that may contain personal information.