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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Taiwan (Onion Soup Bowl)


“That’s Entertaining!”
Impressed “Made in Taiwan” to base
Lidded heavy stoneware bowl with large diameter handle
Unused, new in box, no damage, small unglazed area to 1 lid.

Production Date
Height (with lid)
Length (with handle)
Uniting Church Store Dandenong
10 Jan 2112
Rameking Reference Number
TEN 001-004

Question;            What do you do to an item that has lost its gloss? 
Answer;            Call it something that is even trendier; Re-invent them.

Back in the 1970s, you remember them, the decade that style forgot; ramekins were starting to go out of fashion.  What were makers to do?  Easy, re-name them.  The big thing at dinner parties those days as a starter was French Onion Soup.  Ramekins are ideal for this type of soup because they can be put into an oven.  There have always been French Onion Soup bowls in France, usually made from brown earthenware.  The handle was used to transfer it from oven to table.  Having the ramekin in the oven can give you a crust to the soup.  These ramekins come in different sizes, from entrée to mains.  Many have lids to keep in the heat.

I don't know anything about this maker except that these ramekins are made in Taiwan and are stoneware, which is a dense, fine-grained, non-translucent, vitrified clay body that is impervious to liquids and fired at a high temperature (1200º–1350ºC). The clay contains significant amounts of aluminum silicates. Stoneware has partially vitrified bodies and most often are brown, grey or white. An opaque ceramic containing a naturally vitrifying clay e.g., a stoneware clay or a suitable ball clay. Sometimes a non-plastic constituent and a flux are added. Stoneware is known for its colour glaze as it is inferior to porcelain in whiteness. Stoneware bodies are heavier than Porcelain and Fine Bone China and are not transparent and is usually made of local clay. Stoneware is less expensive than both Bone China and Porcelain products.

The history of pottery in Taiwan goes back over six thousand years and combines traditional and modern methods and techniques.  Makers have recently evolved new manufacturing processes and now export worldwide.  Like many Asian countries, the tradition of pottery and ceramics runs deep.  The town of Yingge is known as a pottery town and has an annual festival to celebrate ceramics, as well as a large modern pottery museum.  There are dozens of manufacturers operating in Taiwan today.

There is some question about the glaze used in those days.  Some people believe that lead glazes were used.  If in doubt, do not use them for serving food.  Have a look on this site for more information.

If you surf the net you can find many variations on a French Onion Soup recipe.  There are lots of complicated ways of preparing what is a simple dish.  Here is my version.  It serves four to six depending on the size of the serves.  Forget all the crap about preparing some of the ingredients days in advance; you can if you want to but you don’t have to.

You will need

700 grams of onions, they don’t have to be French, any nationality will do. (That’s about six; Red onions are sweeter, if you prefer)
40 grams of butter (That’s about four tablespoons)
2 tablespoons of flour (or cornflour)
1.75 litre of beef stock.  (add more stock or water to taste)
1 glass of white wine. (If its not good enough to drink, don’t cook with it)  Non drinkers can just add more water but remember that the alcohol in wine is boiled off during the cooking.
2 (or more) slices of toast.  (A lot of recipes go into great detail about crouton or baguette preparation.  Once the diced toast is in the soup and covered with cheese, no-one cares.  Many people use a toasted slice of baguette, but this can be too thick.  A layer of croutons is much easier to get through.
Cheese.  One slice per serve.  Use the traditional Gruyere, or maybe Swiss; forget all the other rubbish cheeses.  You can sprinkle some Parmesan over the finished product and allow to brown if you wish.  Some people tell you to melt it over the sides, but that is just a waste.

What to do;
  • Peel and thinly slice the onions lengthwise.  Put into a large uncovered saucepan and add the butter.  Stir regularly over a low to medium heat.  Cook for at least 35 minutes until they have caramelized.  (That’s when they are very soft and a sticky consistency and golden brown.)  Some recipes tell you to speed up the process by adding sugar.  This means that you only have caramel in the bottom, not caramelized onion.
(At this point, lots of others add salt or herbs or bay leaves, or even sugar.  If the onions are OK you don’t need the rest.)
  • Add the flour if necessary when you see caramelization on the bottom of the saucepan.
  • Add the stock, cover and  simmer for about 45 minutes.
  • Ladle into ramekins and place croutons on top.
  • Cover with thinly sliced cheese
  • Bake in a hot oven (pre-heated to 350 degrees for 20 minutes or grill until the cheese has melted and slightly browned.
  • Sprinkle with parmesan.
  • Serve and consume, preferably with a nice merlot. (a soft red goes really well with French Onion Soup)

Oh, by the way, if anyone out there in Webland has any information about this maker, I would be glad to hear from you.

1 comment:

  1. Please feel free to link to my Alban family history website http://alban-benbow.blogspot.com.au/
    An acknowledgement of the family photo of Tom and Betty Alban and the family information you have used from my site would be appreciated. eg Image courtesy Jenni Kirby. Source http://alban-benbow.blogspot.com.au/
    You can contact me jentoyou(at)hotmail.com