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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wembley Ware


Faint circle with “Wembley Ware” impressed. Flat
base with rhomboid shaped body. Curved sides,
angled outwards from base. Curved overhead
handle. Part of set of four. Described as a ramekin
but more accurately a small serving dish.
Production Date
Approximately 1960
Length (with handle)

Like some of the Sylha suff, these are not really ramekins, but most advertisers on internet auctiob sites think they are.  They were originally Hors d'ouvres sets and were set into a shallow wicker tray.  They are Wembley and are definitely worth getting.

If you look up Ford, you will see myriad marks for the various incarnations of the entities that once were Wembley Ware and allied companies. For the purposes of this entry, I will only refer to the one mark impressed into these ramekins. It is a circle with the words “Wembley Ware” inside. Wembley began in 1938 when the Wunderlich Company merged with H L Brisbane & Co who had taken over Westralian Potteries Ltd in Subiaco in 1927.
The area now known as Ascot Island had been a clay quarry for Perth since the early 20th Century. Wunderlich was a family business started by Ernest, Julius and Frederick Wunderlich. The firm grew into a highly successful company with branches in all Australian States and in Wellington, New Zealand. Wunderlich Ltd was the first Australian firm to introduce a 44 hour week without a pay reduction (1908) and in 1914 started a profit-sharing scheme for employees. Between 1940 and 1944, Asbestos Mines Pty Ltd was owned by Wunderlich Ltd.
Homewares were first developed pre Wembley around 1927 when Flora Landells established her Studio Pottery, learning from Frederick Piercy, owner of the Westralian Pottery Company. During World War II they catered for shortages of domestic ware. Her husband Reg died in 1960 and her pottery was closed, and Wembley only survived another 12 months.
In 1946 Brisbane and Wunderlich created a range of decorative homewares called Wembley Ware. The range was H.L. Brisbane’s idea. Their first product was the cruet set. To avoid paying a high sales tax the piece was fashioned into a salt and pepper shaker and a mustard dish. Post war tax on utilitarian pottery was lower than decorative ware. These sets proved to be very popular, and many more pieces of tableware and other wares made.
Brisbane and Wunderlich were then based in Subiaco and were the biggest commercial ceramics company in Australia at the time, even exporting to New Zealand. The company, also owned Bristle Tiles. Over the next three decades Lance Brisbane built the company into a large and diversified manufacturing enterprise, moving into stainless-steel products, clay sewer-pipes, porcelain, high temperature refractory bricks, aluminium fabrication, building cladding and plastics. In the 1990s Brisbane and Wunderlich sold out to Australian Fine China. This was long after its Wembley Ware range ended in 1961.

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