1 small pie pumpkin
Choose a firm, small pie pumpkin, not more than 3-4 pounds; smaller pumpkins tend to be a bit sweeter
Rinse the pumpkin under warm water, removing any dirt or debris
Cut the pumpkin in half on a large cutting board, with a sharp knife
Scoop out the seeds with a metal spoon, I use an old measuring spoon that has a nice edge
Lay the pumpkin face side down in a large baking dish
Cover with ¼ inch water
Bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes (depending on size) or until tender, using a fork to check
Remove from oven and scoop out insides, discarding skin
Store in refrigerator in a glass mason jar
Keeps for 5 days in refrigerator (at the ready for your pie, muffin and custard endeavors)
If you are in a rush, cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces and it will cook faster. The pumpkin in the picture above was rather large (for a pie pumpkin) and I cooked it for 1 ½ hours. This was far too long (I became distracted during the endeavor) as you can see the pumpkin is rather overdone. However, I think it will still be usable for various dishes.
The above pumpkin preparation technique applies to any winter squash: butternut, buttercup, acorn, kabocha, hubbard, and more. I often substitute these squash in my recipes that call for pumpkin which works very well.