Except for a few recipes that call for using it in the shell, the pumpkin is pureed for use in a wide variety of dishes. To make you own pumpkin puree, halve or cut the pumpkin into large pieces, remove seeds and stringy fiber, place uncovered in a baking sheet or shallow dish and bake at 350 F. until tender (about an hour). The skin should be wrinkled and the flesh soft. Some cookbooks I have looked at suggest buttering the pan while others opt for 1/2 inch of water. Steaming and boiling work also. In any case, peel the cooked pieces and puree in a food processor, blender or process in a food mill. Store tightly in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for later use. I prefer to bake the pumpkin rather than steam it. It comes out a little less watery in the oven.