When I’m baking, I prefer plain pumpkin purée, without spices or other ingredients. This is why I make it myself. You can make your own using one of three techniques: baking, boiling or steaming. When baking pumpkin, the least labour-intensive of the three methods, I prefer a small or medium-size squash. To bake: 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 350°F (180°C) ( for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the size. Allow to cool. Remove the flesh with a spoon and mash. . To boil or steam: 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 yourself, you can always use store-bought plain purée.