Amidst raking 8 bags of leaves and serving as Shabbat mom for Oliver's class (so cute!), I decided that today would be an excellent one in which to make a big batch of fresh pumpkin puree. Sugar or pie pumpkins are definitely in season right now and although they're cute and festive, I hate to see them end up in the compost heap post-Halloween. So I removed two from our table today, washed, halved and seeded them.
I then rubbed each half with a slight bit of olive oil and placed them cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Into the sheet, I poured a cup or so of water* to help the pumpkin flesh steam and not scorch and then baked them in a 375 oven for about 40 minutes; you want a knife to be able to pierce the skin and flesh with no resistance. You'll also find some spots on the pumpkins' exteriors will start collapsing in.
Presently, I'm waiting for these to cool down, and I'll then scoop out the flesh and pass it through my food mill's medium or finest disk. Did you know that most canned pumpkin is actually made from hubbard squash? They're similar, but you may find that your homemade puree has a slightly different taste. Keep this in mind when making pies and muffins as you might end up needing to minimally alter the amounts of added sugar and spices.
*If you wish to try this at home, I recommend adding the water to the pan once you've slid it into the oven as otherwise you might have to deal with sloshing and spillage.