A key ingredient in pies, pumpkin puree can also be used when preparing breads, custards, ice cream, waffles and soups.
1. Place a small whole pumpkin on a baking sheet and roast it in a preheated 350°F oven until it can be easily pierced with a knife, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. For a shorter roasting time, slice the pumpkin in half and roast it, cut side down, in 1 inch of water in a baking dish until tender, about 45 minutes.
2. Let cool, then cut the pumpkin in half crosswise (if not already done) and scoop out and discard the seeds. Scoop out the flesh with a large spoon and puree the flesh in a blender or food processor or with a food mill.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Companion (Time-Life Books, 2000).