Although canned pumpkin purée is convenient, it's less expensive and very easy to make your own. If you're interested in avoiding cans and/or have a bounty of pumpkins, this recipe is for you! To maximize your energy expenditure, cook several pumpkins at once and freeze the extra purée.
Note: this recipe yields about 3 cups of purée.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil that’s long enough to fold back over and cover the pumpkin halves. Place the halves cut side down on the pan and wrap with the remaining length of the foil. Bake until the flesh is very tender, 60 to 75 minutes.
Let the pumpkin cool, then scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Mash it with a potato masher or purée it in a food processor or blender until smooth.
The pumpkin purée can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.