I admit it. I'm a snob when it comes to pumpkin. I won't eat it if it comes in a can. This means that every year, I buy a pumpkin, cook it, puree it, and freeze it. Yes, this takes some time and effort, but it is well worth it, both in money saved and taste enjoyed. Here's how you do it:
Method 1: Cut a pumpkin in half and place each in a pan with about an inch of water, cut side down. Bake in oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Scoop out flesh and puree in batches in food processor. Put 15 oz. (about 2 cups) in plastic bags and freeze.
Method 2: Cut a pumpkin up in pieces and cut off the rind. Then cut into 1-2 inch pieces and boil in a pot of water until very soft. Drain water and then puree in batches in a food processor. Put 15 oz. (about 2 cups) in plastic bags and freeze.
Now whenever you have a recipe that calls for a can of pumpkin, you can just whip out one of your bags in the freezer, and voila! You have real pumpkin that makes such a difference in every recipe.