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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mystery Maker Marked J-I France

Not known
Not known
Painted to base “J-I France
Wheel-thrown Earthenware
Shallow bowl with widened lip rounded handle and flat base.  Double glazed to interior of bowl. Sgrafitto leaf design through top glaze.  Dark matte contrast colour applied to inside top of rim 
Very good for age, some chips to rim of one bowl.

Production Date
Width at rim
Width at Base
Length (with handle)
Vinnies, Edithvale, Victoria
5th June 2012
Rameking Reference Number
JIF 001-002

Seemingly made for fondue, they are made from earthenware, which is a porous ceramic, usually hand-made clay (inorganic non-metallic solid) fired at a low heat, (1000-1150 degrees Celsius) usually glazed to the interior of a bowl to retain contents by making it impervious to liquids.  Majolica, Delft and Faence ware are examples of Earthenware.  Particle size can vary.  Firing temperature may vary depending on the type of material used.

These ramekins have been double glazed so that a leaf pattern can be seen by exposing the darker underglaze.  It is likely that because of the hole in the handle, they form part of a rustic style fondue set so popular in Europe in the 1960s and 70s.  A fondue is a dish of Swiss origin, also popular in France and northern Italy.  It is shared from a single pot that is heated over a small flame.  Usually the contents are either cheese mixed with white wine, or chocolate, although other items can also be used.  Food, such as bread or fruit on long forks is dipped into the pot containing the melted cheese or chocolate. 

Rameking Romance tip; Gentlemen who wish to improve their chances with the ladies would be well advised to resurrect a fondue set.  Not the cheese dip that will have them run a mile, but with melted chocolate.  If you have got her to your place, she is already interested.  Get her to dip strawberries into hot melted chocolate and you on a winner.  Ladies love a man that cooks, and they love chocolate even more.  Team it with fruit, preferably strawberries, and they think it is healthy.  Team it with a mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter evening.  In ladies, the chocoholic gene is far more developed and responsive than in gentlemen.  Gemutlichkeit in German means cosiness or feeling pleasure in a comfortable environment and a fondue for two does that in spades.

Try this recipe;

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