Last week, I wanted to make a pumpkin pie as a rehearsal for Thanksgiving, and this year I wanted to make it from a real pumpkin, not a can. I had a sugar pie pumpkin to use (I've seen them both at Trader Joe's and farmers' markets, fyi), but I've never actually cooked a pumpkin before. So I did a little internet research and combined a few techniques I read about to bake my own little pumpkin.
How to Bake a Pumpkin
1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
2. Without trying to cut through the stem, cut the pumpkin in half. Use an ice cream scooper to scoop out the seeds. Save them for roasting!
3. Place the pumpkin halves face down in an oven-proof dish. Add enough water so that there's about half an inch covering the bottom of the pan. Cover pumpkin with foil.
4. Cook the pumpkin for about 90 minutes, or until tender.
5. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
To puree for use in baking, scoop out cooked flesh and blend in a food processor or blender. Alternatively, smash with a potato masher. If you're not using the pumpkin right away, refrigerate or freeze.