Just what is a ramekin and when should you use one? Find out here!
Some recipes will tell you to add your ingredients to a ramekin - but have you ever wondered just what a ramekin actually is?
Well, even if you haven't heard the name before, you've more than likely seen a ramekin, as it is the small dish used for serving delicious crème brûlées as well as a range of other desserts.
Ramekins are very versatile and can be used to bake lots of different foods, including custards, soufflés, or single servings of scalloped potatoes. They're also great for making mini lasagnes!
The word ramekin - derived from ‘ramequin’ - has French origins and was referred to in French cookbooks from as early at the 17th century!
The word also has Flemish roots and was used to describe meat dishes that were portioned out into little molds and cooked for feasts. The difference, however, is that the molds used to cook those dishes were able to withstand very high heat and not particularly pretty to look at.
The ramekins we use today typically feature heat resistant ceramic or porcelain and have either a rustic or elegant look to them.
Ramekin shapes and sizes
Most ramekins hold anywhere between 1.6 oz and 10 oz. Classic ramekins tend to be cylindrical in shape, with no handles, but modern ramekins are available in a range of shapes, including oval or square.
You will typically find that the exterior of a ramekin is decorated either with dainty patterns or painted a solid colour. The interior of a ramekin should always be smooth so that whatever it is that you are cooking will not stick.
When using a ramekin, you will want to consider what you are cooking first to ensure that the ramekin is the right size and will accommodate the dish you are making. For example, baked eggs or crème brûlée are best made in ramekin dishes that are wide, but not as tall, whereas a soufflé would be best in a ramekin that is taller, so that it does not bubble over.
So why should you start using a ramekin?
Well, not only can you step up your presentation game, but it also makes serving so much simpler.
At your next dinner party, consider serving in ramekins to help make portioning out your main dish or dessert even easier!
Another big advantage of cooking in ramekins is that you can tailor each dish for whomever you are cooking; do you love spicy food, but your children don’t? No problem! Simply spice yours up and theirs can remain perfectly mild.
Recipes that use ramekins
Now you know what a ramekin is, how about using one in some of your recipes?
In this Baked Eggs and Green Beans Recipe the eggs are baked in the ramekin, with the green beans served alongside for dipping.
You might also like to try ths Potted Shrimp Recipe - a traditional British recipe where the shrimp is cooked and served in a 'pot' (or ramekin).