Mrs. Wheelock’s Pumpkin Pie

We didn’t make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, because we had the Mystic Pudding and the Cranberry Pudding, so I thought I’d make a pumpkin pie to go with the last of the turkey leftovers – turkey pies made by Alex!  Yum!!  I went looking through my books for a pumpkin pie recipe, even though I have a great recipe and make The World’s Very Best Pumpkin Pies (for real!!)  I figured with my mad pumpkin pie skills, any recipe would turn out amazingly delicious.

 Ida Wheelock published her little book of recipes and the request of her many friends, but it seems that promoting her husband’s store in St Paul, Minnesota was also part of her agenda.  She’s not pushy, but the first ad at the back of the book lets the reader know that

“Orders will be taken by

Theodore B. Wheelock

599 Selby Avenue.

St. Paul, Minn

for fontage irons (timbale irons)

rosette irons

pudding cups

vegetable cutters

and various other cooking utensils


Mrs. Wheelock’s Choice Recipes”

Many of the recipes call for the gadgets listed in his ad.  The recipes are mostly fairly simple to make, with short ingredient lists, but seem a bit fancier than everyday fare.  Things like Oyster Canapes, Asparagus Roses, Velvet Soup and Lemon Sherbet with Ginger feel somehow elevated from the usual, and I think I’ll have to spend a bit more time with this book.  There are also exotic foreign recipes, like Spaetzlen, French Liver and Oysters and Macaroni – Milanaise.  Some of these recipes I might actually try at some point!

The pumpkin pie recipe in her book is pretty straight forward, but for the addition of molasses.  Since Alex has been enjoying molasses lately, I figured I’d try her recipe.  With only 3 tablespoons, I didn’t think the taste would be too pronounced, and it seemed interesting.  I did add more spice, since that’s the real secret to perfect pumpkin pie, and I used nutmeg instead of mace as I don’t seem to have any mace in the house.  (Admittedly, I didn’t look too hard.)

The resulting pie (again, no pictures…. sorry!) was dark on top, I’m guessing from the molasses, because it wasn’t burnt, but the inside was closer to a normal pumpkin pie colour.  The molasses flavour was faint, but there.  It turns out Alex doesn’t like molasses in pumpkin pie.   While it was certainly not up to my usual pumpkin pie, it was not bad.  I don’t think I’d try it again, though, since my usual recipe is so much better.  I’ll post my usual pumpkin pie recipe in a future post.  For now, here’s Mrs.  Wheelock’s recipe:

Pumpkin Pie

1 cup canned pumpkin (I used home grown, pureed and frozen)

1 cup  milk

3 tablespoonfuls molasses

3 tablespoonfuls sugar

1/2 teaspoonful ginger

1/4 teaspoonful mace

1/2 teaspoonful cinnamon

2 eggs

A pinch of salt

Beat eggs and add to pumpkin, add molasses sugar and spices, and lastly add milk.  (1 tablespoonful melted butter will make it richer.)

Bake in a fluted crust.

It seems that it would go well with a hot cup of coffee.  Mrs. Wheelock’s coffee recipe is among the more complicated that I’ve seen, though there are some odd ones out there.  I think I’ll stick to my French press for my morning coffee for the time being!


1 pint coffee

2 eggs

1 gallon boiling water

Break eggs into coffee, add enough cold water to moisten, stir, and add the boiling water; boil two minutes and let stand ten minutes, then drain off grounds and serve.  This will make twenty-four cups.  To warm over, place over steam, do not boil.

Ida Wheelock’s Choice Recipes was published in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1904.


  1. Your post reminded me of a Maple Pumpkin Pie recipe I found in the November 2013 Better Homes and Gardens magazine. It uses 2/3 cup pure maple syrup and we really liked it; we thought there was a good balance of flavors in that pie. 🙂


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