Step One: Cut the stem of the pumpkin off, just like you do when you are carving a jack-o-lantern.
Step Two: Scoop out all of the seeds. You can set these aside to clean and roast for a yummy snack.
Step Three: Cut the pumpkin into halves or quarters. Place the pieces in a baking dish (or dishes, depending on the size of the pumpkin). Put about ½ inch of water in the bottom of the baking dish. This is so the pumpkin steams and roasts at the same time.
Step Four: Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the pumpkin in the oven and let bake for about 20 minutes. After that, check it every 5 minutes until it is finished cooking. The way to tell when the pumpkin is cooked to perfection is when you can easily stick a fork through the skin into the flesh. Since pumpkins come in different shapes and sizes, the cooking time will vary. Note: If the pumpkin’s flesh starts to brown or burn, turn the oven down.
Step Five: When the pumpkin is finished baking, take it out and let it cool. When it is cool enough to touch, scrape the pumpkin flesh off of the skin.
Step Six: Mash up the pumpkin flesh just a little bit. Then, place it in a fine mesh sieve or in some cheese cloth and let the water drain off for at least an hour. Note: You can save this pumpkin juice and use it in smoothies or soups. Get creative!
Step Seven: Run the drained pumpkin flesh through a food processor for an even consistency. Now the pumpkin puree is ready to be used in your favorite pumpkin pie recipe!