Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rimmed baking pan inside. Spray both sides of squash with cooking spray (any preferred flavor will do) and place, cut sides down on preheated, rimmed baking pan. Place in oven and reduce heat to 300 degrees. Bake until fork tender, about an hour or until the edges of cut side of squash begin to brown, carmelizing.
Remove from pan when done to allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, use a spoon to remove all that gorgeous meat from the skin of squash, puree in a food processor or beat with hand mixer until very smooth. ( I use Cuisinart kitchen appliances) You will need 2 cups for this recipe and can put the remainder in a zippered bag and freeze for later use
Or 2 cups canned pumpkin
Put squash and all ingredients except pecans in a bowl, whisking well until smooth and eggs are completely mixed in.
Pour into a 6 cup or bigger, shallow glass or ceramic baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray, Put this dish into a larger baking dish or oven safe skillet, half filled with hot water. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes at 300 degrees, until custard has just set and a knife inserted just off-center comes out clean. Top with pecan halves in a pretty pattern, with about 2 per serving. Makes 6 servings. Cool a bit before cutting.
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