Place each half, cut side down, on a baking sheet.
Bake in the oven until the pumpkin softens. After 30 minutes have passed, start checking every 5-10 minutes or so for doneness by lightly pressing on the skin.
Once soft, remove the pumpkin halves from the oven.
You can use the roasted pumpkin as is, or broil the top to caramelize it slightly. To do so, flip the pumpkin halves over on the baking sheet and put them under the broiler for several minutes, until browned. Remove from the oven.
Allow the cooked pumpkin to cool slightly.
Scrape the pulp off of the skin.
If the pulp of your pumpkin is soft enough, you can mash it with a fork and you are finished. If not, or if you want it smoother, purée the roasted pumpkin in a food processor or with an immersion blender.
Boiling or steaming the pumpkin
Cut the pumpkin into large pieces.
Remove the skin by cutting it off with a sharp knife or peeling it with a vegetable peeler.
Cut the peeled pumpkin into smaller pieces.
Place the peeled pumpkin pieces in a pan and cover with water.
Bring to a boil and simmer until the pumpkin is soft.Rather than boiling the pumpkin directly, you can steam the pieces in a steamer or a steamer insert within a large pan.Either should take around 10-20 minutes, depending on the type of pumpkin and the size of the pieces.
Strain out the cooked pumpkin.
Allow to cool slightly.
Use immediately or store for later.
Use in both sweet and savory recipes.
Roasting the pumpkin has a shorter prep. time, but a longer cook time than steaming or boiling.
Boiling or steaming will take longer to prepare, but once the water has been brought to a boil, they should only take around 10-30 minutes.
This homemade pumpkin purée can be used as-is or made smoother by blending with either an immersion blender or a stand blender.
You can use this immediately or store it in the refrigerator for several days (up to a week, depending on the water content and type of pumpkin).
This freezes well for up to 6 months. I like to use cube-shaped ice cube trays for convenient storage that doesn't waste space in the freezer.