Crust: (enough for 2 pies)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
4 to 6 tablespoons cold water
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly. Gradually add just enough water to get the dough to hold together, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. (Too much water makes a tough crust. ) Divide pastry in half. On a floured surface, roll out each portion to fit a deep 9-in. pie plate. Place pastry in plates; trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond the plate. Flute edges.
Filling: (enough for two pies)
4 cups pumpkin or squash puree (OR 1 29-oz. can solid-pack pumpkin)
2 cups brown sugar (fimly packed)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup of milk AND 1 cup of whipping cream (OR 2 cans of evaporated milk)
For filling: beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, cloves, nutmeg and ginger; beat until just smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Pour into unbaked pastry shells. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 40-45 minutes. A very deep pie plate may take an hour. Check for firmness toward the end of the baking time (you want a firm custard), but don't let the pumpkin overcook.
Pureed Squash or Pumpkin
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a small sugar pumpkin or pie squash, such as a cheese pumpkin. Stem and quarter the pumpkin, then remove all seeds. Discard seeds, or save to make toasted pumpkin seeds.
Place in a roasting pan with one inch of water, skin side up. Bake at 350 degrees until pumpkin is tender. (About 45 minutes). Remove the pan from the oven and let pumpkin pieces cool.
With a spoon, scrape the flesh from the skin of each pumpkin piece. Traditionally, put through a food mill lined with cheese cloth for a thicker puree or place into a food processor or blender. Puree the pieces until smooth.
The puree is ready to use in your favorite recipe. One pound of pumpkin=1 cup of puree. It may be placed in freezer bags and frozen for up to 3 months.
Place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet, stirring to coat. If you prefer, omit the oil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.
Sprinkle with salt and bake at 325 degrees F until toasted, about 25 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes.
Let cool and store in an air-tight container.