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Chronicling a Culinary Career: Sybil Kellogg’s Southern Kentucky Pumpkin Pie

Food is a central aspect of nearly every holiday. As we approach the winter holidays, we look forward to the traditional foods we will eat as part of the celebration. Family recipes are passed down from generation to generation. Cooking or baking family recipes brings us closer to past generations. The smell and taste of these foods stir up nostalgia and elicit fond memories of the past. Here at Heritage Museum of Orange County, we are home to the Hiram Clay Kellogg House, built in 1898. At its original location, Hiram Clay Kellogg installed not one, but two kitchens in the family’s home, along with a lavish oval dining room, complete with tongue and groove flooring. Food must have played a central role in the life of the Kellogg family.

 
Black and white photo of a 7-year-old girl and her baby sister, both dressed in white
Left to Right: Sybil Kellogg (age 7) and Helen Kellogg Jr. (6 months) circa 1898

One member of the Kellogg family, Sybil Victoria Mauerhan (née Kellogg), had a particular affinity with all things culinary. Born in 1891, Sybil Victoria Kellogg was the eldest child of Hiram Clay Kellogg. Sybil’s mother and Hiram’s first wife, Victoria Schultz Kellogg, passed away shortly after Sybil’s birth. Hiram married Helen Vianna Kellogg in 1895. The two had four children together, including Helen, Hiram Clay II, Leonard Franklin, and Oahu Rose. Sybil lived in the H. Clay Kellogg House with her father, stepmother, and half-siblings on Orange Avenue in Santa Ana, California. From an early age, Sybil took an interest in the arts, particularly theatre and poetry. Sybil graduated in 1910 from Westlake School for Girls in Los Angeles. In 1911, Sybil married Ralph Michelsen. The pair had two children before divorcing in the 1920s. Soon after, Sybil married James Mauerhan and they had two children together.

Black and white photo of a woman in the early 1900s with a white dog
Sybil Kellogg (unknown date)
 

It was not until her early forties that Sybil discovered her love of cooking and baking. Sybil taught classes in Vocational Catering and Pastries to adults in the public-school system here in Orange County. In 1953, Sybil suffered an illness and had one of her legs amputated. Despite this, she went on to become a celebrated instructor and cake decorator. Sybil published a robust cookbook of her many recipes in 1958 entitled Treats in Eats. She passed away in 1963 at the age of 72, leaving behind a legacy of culinary creativity.

 

To celebrate her accomplishments, we are sharing a recipe from Sybil’s cookbook Treats in Eats. Join us as we make Sybil’s Southern Kentucky Pumpkin Pie, following the instructions below.

 

Southern Kentucky Pumpkin Pie

(recipe from Sybil Mauerhan’s Treats in Eats, 1958)

A piece of pumpkin pie
 

Ingredients:

“Rich” Pie Crust

½ No. 2 can prepared pumpkin (converts to about 1¼ cup pumpkin)

2 Eggs

1 heavy pinch ginger

1 heavy pinch cinnamon

2 tbsp. vanilla

1½ cups very rich cream

¾ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

Pinch of salt

1 full tsp. cloves

 
 
 

Instructions:

1. Set uncooked crust in oven at 450° for four or five minutes.

2. Make filling. Mix together pumpkin, eggs, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, cream, brown sugar, salt, and cloves.

3. Remove crust from oven and pour in the pumpkin mixture.

4. Bake pie after filling is in at 300° for 45 minutes.

5. Watch and remove from oven when center jiggles and it is done around the sides.

Note: Setting the raw shells in the oven before adding filling prevents sogginess.

 
 
Black and white photo of a cookbook titled "Treats in Eats" and a woman speaking on the telephone
Sybil Mauerhan with her cookbook “Treats in Eats”
 

Sources and Photographs

Photographs of Sybil Victoria Kellogg Mauerhan and research are from Heritage Museum of Orange County’s collections. Unless otherwise noted, the content of this site (both text and image) is copyright Heritage Museum of Orange County. All rights are reserved.

 

Recipe from Treats in Eats by Sybil Mauerhan, published 1958.