Okay, I know that most of you (myself included) just buy canned pumpkin already done. But if you should happen to come into possession of a pie pumpkin, the effort it takes really makes a tasty difference!
I will admit here that I never do this. John always does the pumpkins, but I happily consume the end result
You can actually cook the pumpkin in different ways: Microwave, steaming, or pressure cooker. John decided to do the microwave since more people have one of those than a pressure cooker.
Find yourself a large knife and get ready:
Cut the pumpkin in half:
Remove the seeds. An ice cream scoop works really well for this:
Once the seeds are removed, cut the pumpkin up into wedges to fit into a microwave safe bowl:
Put water in the bottom of the bowl, maybe 1/4 cup or so and cover with plastic wrap:
Put in the microwave and cook on high. This pumpkin was kind of thick and took about 20 minutes. This is why the pressure cooker is great, because it is much faster.
When the pumpkin is soft and tender, let it cool for a bit before handling. Then scoop out the cooked pumpkin from the shell. The same ice cream scoop still works pretty good:
You can use the pumpkin at this point, or you can make it like the canned stuff by putting it in a bowl and applying the spurs to it.
You can also use a food processor for this part if you want.
Beautiful, fresh pumpkiny goodness!
This can be used like any pumpkin puree – like in a pie: