For baking, I prefer plain pumpkin purée, without spices or other ingredients. This is why I make it myself. To do so, you can use three techniques: baked, boiled or steamed. When I choose to bake it, I prefer the small or medium-sized pumpkins. Baking: Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds and strings with a spoon. Place the pumpkin halves on a baking sheet, cut side down. Bake at 180 °C (350 °F) for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on their size. Allow to cool. Remove the flesh with a spoon and mash. This approach requires less work than the next. Boiled or steamed: Cut the pumpkin into pieces and peel. Cook in unsalted boiling water or in a steamer until tender. Drain and mash. The puree can be frozen for future use (pie, cookies or to mix with mashed potatoes). If you can’t prepare the pumpkin itself, you can always use the store-bought plain purée.