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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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, October 26, 2013



Black stamp to base “APILCO porcelain a tau FRANCE”
White Hard Paste Porcelain
Called a “handled egg poacher’, Wide-mouthed bowl with flat circular base and upswept handle.  Clear gloss glaze to interior and exterior, unglazed flat foot ring.
Very good
No number
Production Date
Width at rim
Width at Base
Length (with handle)
Waverley Antiques Market
10 October 2013
Rameking Reference Number
API 001 to 006

These ramekins are referred to by their makers as “egg poachers” along with several other ramekins of similar type from other European makers.  They also make another multi-egg poacher suitable for quail eggs.  I have seen a similar poacher made by Maxwwell and Williams, but the Rameking Gnomes do my quail eggs each morning so I have no idea how they are prepared.  They do a good job but have not quite got the hang of cooking nightingale tongues.

Apilco is France's leading manufacturer of porcelain products for the Hotel and Catering industry.  All Plain White items are made in France with hard porcelain. Whatever the manufacturing technique used, the basic raw materials are the same.  These raw materials are mixed, crushed and transformed into three broad categories based on techniques used.  All Apilco items are made of non-porous 'hard porcelain' that is characterised by its ability to remain resistant to mechanical and thermic shock.  Porcelain is made of kaolin, clay, sand, feldspar, and chalk.

The group has more than 300 employees and has 3 centres of production, all located in France.  All their products are genuine Limoges porcelain and are cooked at very high temperatures (1400°C) to receive a high resistance to thermal and mechanical shock. Being non-porous, it does not flake or crack, making it a high quality hygienic product.  Ecologically, the porcelain is produced without chemical additive.  It is cooked in high-efficiency ovens to control and reduce gas consumption. 

The integrated company has its headquarters and main factory is located in Chauvigny, France, in the Vienne region and only a few kilometres from Poitiers.  Known by the business name of “Deshoulieres SA” and its trading name of “Deshoulieres Apilco” this group has been using these time tested materials and methods to create superb porcelain products since 1826.  Apilco's non-pourous clay features a durable glaze, making each piece resistant to chipping, cracking, and staining. It is well-known internationally for its quality, the company offers thousands of beautiful white porcelain products

Chauvigny is a medieval market town on the banks of the river Vienne and is located 23 Kms (30 miles) east of Poitiers.  It was built on a high rocky spur.  The town grew up at the cross roads of two major routes of communication, an East-West route from the Atlantic towards Lyons, a North-South route linking northern France to southern France following the River Vienne. Originally situated in the town centre, the porcelain factory, now trading under the well-known name of Apilco, opened an ultra-modern factory on the outskirts of Chauvigny at the Planty industrial park.

Like many European companies, this one has a very interesting and varied past.  In the beginning, in 1826, Jean Bozier began as a potter creating eathernware in coal-fired ovens in Marats, near Chauvigny, France.  He worked in partnership with his Brother-In-Law Louis Deshoulières.  By 1890 there were 20 employees.  In 1928 they installed a 70 horsepower steam engine.  This replaced their two gas discharge suction engines. In 1905 there were 40 employees.  In 1938, the works moved into the town of Chauvigny

Louis son, Gaston then began the expansion of the works.  In 1906, Ferdinand Deshoulières began making fine stoneware kitchenware, but a fire in 1908 destroyed part of their workshop.  They were quickly rebuilt and in 1909 they were back in production with their new porcelain “Pefecta” range. By this time, they employed 50 people.

The famous hotel ware “Apilco” brand, was first begun and owned by Albert Pillivuyt and was bought by Ferdinand Deshoulières and his son Louis in 1935.   Jean Louis Richard Pillivuyt had founded a porcelain factory in Foëcy in 1818. The area was well suited to production; the neighbouring Sologne's forests had wood for fuel, a great quantity of water and the proximity to Limoges where kaolin deposits had just been discovered.  Manufacturing porcelain was the new advanced technology industry of the time, but the beginnings were difficult and discouraging.

After the First World War, production expanded thanks to improvements made in manufacturing porcelain.  Fuel for firing had been changed from wood to coal.  There were 800 employees at the plant.  Both World Wars had caused great financial hardship and Charles Jnr was forced to sell.  Only 28 employees were still there and buildings and machinery had been damages. 
A programme of modernization began.  A new 2,000m² workshop was built in 1946 after the Second-World-War on land called “Paradise” and a Tunnel Kiln was built.   This was a gas-fired process that still operates today.  They also replaced their 70 HP steam engine with a 105HP engine.  In 1966 a third factory was built in the “Planty” industrial zone of the town, supplemented by two other workshops in 1970 when there were 500 employees, and 1986 which also included their administration services. 
Furnaces cells in the 1960s improved production.  A furnace cell replaces the last firing stages in a traditional kiln with several smaller zones.  This allows firing to be moved within a kiln to create different firing periods and cooling periods dependent on the speed of movement within a kiln.  This can be achieved over a shorter distance than traditional kiln.  Automatic production was their specialty and they became the highest capacity (1.2 million plates per month) French manufacturer of porcelain plates.
In 1980 Deshoulières purchased the “Porcelaine de Sologne” brand, well known in the wedding registry and giftware business. With the help of the Nikoil Group.  All their products are made of hard paste porcelain. Its top-quality and non-porous nature make it resistant to heat and is extremely durable. It is therefore oven, microwave and dishwasher safe except for the products containing gold or platinum.  In 1985, they began powder-pressing part of their production in parallel to the casting process.  In 1988, they employed 493 workers.  Deshoulieres is now the Number One French porcelain manufacturer with its 3 brands: Deshoulières, Porcelaine de Sologne and Apilco. 


  1. How do you determine the date of manufacture of a mystery piece of Apilco found in the recesses of an older relative's closet.

  2. I would suggest contacting the company by e-mail with a photo of the item. Often real treasures can be found in a relatives kitchen, mostly not; but it is worth chasing up.