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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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, April 14, 2012



Stamped “Made in Italy” to base
Terracotta bowl with gloss glaze to interior and exterior. Flat unglazed base with looped handle.
Good used condition for age

Production Date
Length (with handle)
Salvo Stores
Rameking Reference Number
PIR 001-003

These are terracotta cooking dishes, (2 dishes and 1 gravy pot) made in Italy and marketed as "Terre D'Umbria", most likely by the Piral company.  Piral is one of the oldest Italian pottery makers, beginning in 1870 at the small Italian town of Albisola Superiore, a municipality in the Province of Savona.  It is in the region of Liguria, about 35km south-west of Genoa, near the border with France.  The town is divided into two by the Sansobbi river.  Albisola Marina (the other part) is below and in 1963, the council created the Lugomare degli Artisti, a ceramic promenade there.

Terracotta is much less fragile than other pottery, but some precautions need to be taken before use.  Bring the heat up gradually and terracotta will cook slowly and evenly.  Avoid sudden changes in temperature.  These can be put directly onto a flame because Piral fire their terra cotta at 1800°F (1000°C).  This cures the terracotta clay but does not seal it.  They are microwave safe and can also be put in a dishwasher.  Please use only wooden or silicone utensils to avoid damaging the glaze.  Another of their selling points is that they are made from non-toxic raw materials.  Some other terra cotta pots contain toxic materials such as lead and cadmium.

For many years, Piral were at 153 Via Casarini but ceased trading in October 2010.  Since their recent takeover by Albis Ltd, they have now moved to new premises at Vado Liguri.  New equipment has been purchased and it is expected that they will be back in full production within 3 years.   The Provincial government is assisting with retraining.  Piral also make kitchen accessories, art pottery and other restaurant and homewares as well as their extensive range of terra cotta pots.

Before first-time use, soak the terracotta cooking pot in room temperature water for three hours, then dry thoroughly.  If you only use terra cotta occasionally, then you must repeat this process each time you use them.  After use, let the pot cool completely then wash with warm water and soap.  Dry thoroughly before storage. 

Food and liquids should not be stored in these pots as moisture gradually penetrates the clay, destroying the finish and causing beading when reheating. 

One of the local specialties is Ligurian Fish Stew .

This is the Rameking version of the recipe, please give it a try.

1-1/2 lbs. of fish (any fish will do)

1 Tablespoon, salt

2 Tablespoons of butter
1 Carrot, sliced
1 Onion, chopped
4 Garlic cloves, chopped
1 Cup white wine
3 Large Tomatoes, chopped
3 Cups chopped cabbage
2 Cups chicken broth
1/4 Tablespoon  paprika

Rinse and lightly season fish with salt.

Roughly chop the fish into 1-2 inch chunks and set aside.
In a 6 qt stock pot, heat butter over medium heat.
Add carrot, onion, and garlic. Cook for 5-6 min.
Add the wine and cook another 5-6 min.
Add the tomatoes, cabbage, broth, pepper and 1/2 tsp. salt.

Reduce heat and bring to a simmer.
Cover and cook another 8-9 min.
Add chopped fish and  cook another 4-5 min.

Total preparation time: 40 min.
Serves: 4 to 5

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