Using pumpkin from a can is definitely faster, but making your own pumpkin puree isn't as labor-intensive as you might think. It's a great way to bring fresh flavor to autumn recipes like Pumpkin Squares With Cider Caramel Sauce.
Stem, quarter, and remove the seeds from the pumpkin, then place the pieces skin side up on a foil-covered baking sheet. Bake them at 350º until tender, about 45 minutes.
Allow the pumpkin pieces to cool. Scrape the flesh from the skin of each quarter into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
To store the puree for future use, pack single-cup portions in sandwich-size freezer bags labeled with the date. The puree can be frozen for up to three months.