Ramekins - purchase and usage....
- ShinyACM Jan 12, 2005 03:46 PM
The lure of making individual desserts is too much, I must get some nice ramekins. The problem is, there are a few options to choose from (note: this is besides from being a useful mis-en-place tool):
- What is a good size? I'm looking to make bread puddings, pop-overs, mini souffles, etc. I was thinking 6 oz., but I could go bigger or smaller.
- What material should they be made out of? I found a set of 4 ceramic BIA 6oz ramekins for around $12 and 4 stoneware Corningware ones for a little more. The most expensive were the Emile Henry's made of High-Fired, Glazed Burgundy Clay - they were $22. Well, what the hell do I make of all that?
- Lastly, are there any other dishes that require/could use ramekins in their recipe?
I bought fluted, white ramekins at Linen's and Things. I have used them several times, but mostly for individual chicken pot pie with puff pastry crust. They are big- 16 oz I think, too big sometmes.
Lnad T has a smaller- 8oz?- size I believe. Both under $3 ea. I recommend them!
Let me know what you make with them
Try hitting up your local Ross/Marshall's/TJMaxx. I've found ramekins there that I've just seen at Macy's down the street for a fraction of the cost.
Just make sure you inspect them for chips and cracks. Ceramic ones are fine; I got mine for less than $2 eaceh at a Chinese restaurant supply store and they've held up well over the last two years.
I have a set of ramekins from Le Creuset (see link). I believe they are the 4.75 oz. ones, which actually hold nearly 8 oz. of liquid when filled to the brim. Got them from a LC factory outlet store for like $1.50 a piece about 7 yrs. ago. Good quality, no chipping or cracking, but have wished they were a tad bigger at times.
I've used them for: flan (regular and coffee), panna cotta (the best!), creme brulee (works but better to have a flat shallow ramekin for more crispy caramelized surface), savory egg custards, molten chocolate cake.
Sounds like 6 oz. would be good for your intended use. The LC ones that have the higher sides would work well for popovers and souffles. Check Caplan Duval's website (caplanduval.com) for LC items since they tend to have the best prices on LC outside of the outlet stores.
when i have a single chicken or duck liver, i use a 1 1/2 cup ramekin to bake a nice little mousse.
I purchased mine from Crate and Barrel. At the time I bought them, they had several sizes to choose from.
Pier 1 has (or had) plain white (6 oz, I believe) great ceramic ramekins for 4 for $4. They're just as good, if not better, than some of the more expensive ones.
Shirred eggs is a great favorite. Butter ramekins, fill with pre-cooked stuff (chopped ham, onions, mushrooms, etc...) crack an egg into each one, then cover with grated cheese. Bake at 350 in a water bath until the eggs are set, about 10-14 minutes.
I have a large number of 4 oz ramekins for desserts. I also have some tiny 2 oz ones - these are less useful. I only have a few of the larger 6/8 oz ones, but I use them constantly. I live alone, so if I make dinner with my boyfriend on Saturday and make a vegetable gratin or an apple crisp or anything like that, I usually make a smallish one with several ramekins on the side. Then I take the leftovers to work during the week. I also like to make myself little bread puddings in the larger ramekins - the end of a loaf of bread, an egg and some milk, a bit of cheese and whatever leftover vegetables are about. I really like spinach or kale, but have also used peppers, mushrooms and so on.
I wouldn't bother spending any more money than you have to for ramekins. Some of mine came from the Christmas Tree Shop and cost .80 each. Some were a gift and probably cost much more. Some came from garage sales. They all work just fine. Note that the thickness of the ramekin can change cooking times, though - some of mine always take longer than others.
Once you start down the ramekin road, there's no going back. I now own three different sizes. I think they're 2 cup, 1 cup and 1/2 cup per set. I prefer simple white ramekins, mainly because they're inexpensive and it's not a budget buster to purchase six (or twelve...) at a time. I still use the large ones I purchased at Star Market in Boston many years ago for $1 each. No need to spend a fortune on something you don't use all that often, and white looks great against most foods. (But in truth, I use my ramekins all the time for food preparation)
I bought a dozen small ones last year to make Chocolate Espresso Pots de Creme from a Gourmet recipe. They were divine! Link below.