To steam the pumpkin, peel and seed it, then cut into evenly sized cubes. Put the cubes in a steamer or colander set over a pan of simmering water and cook for 10 mins. Test with the point of a knife and cook for a further 5 mins if not cooked through. Mash and leave to cool. Alternatively, to microwave the pumpkin, cut it in half (no need to peel it or cut out the seeds) and sit cut-side up in the microwave. Cook for 20 mins, then check the flesh is soft by poking it with a fork. Keep cooking if you’d like it softer. Scoop the flesh into a bowl, then mash and leave to cool.
Choosing your pumpkinsDifferent varieties of pumpkin make different purée textures and flavours, so while you can use any pumpkin for purée, they'll give different results. You can also try using different varieties of winter squash: butternut squash have orange flesh, a very dense texture and a sweet flavour, while kabocha (Japanese squash) have yellow flesh, an earthier flavour and turn fudgy once cooked. The orange pumpkins you see everywhere at Halloween usually don’t have much flavour and can have watery flesh.