The large pumpkins used for jack o’lanterns have very little flavor. If you want to cook pumpkins, look for the smaller, sweeter pie pumpkins. If you’re making pumpkin pie, it’s useful to know that most pumpkin pies you buy in stores and bakeries are actually made with several varieties of squash more closely resembling butternut squash than the classic Halliween pumpkin.
Pumpkins have a very delicate flavor, and don’t really stand up to the spices and sweetness of a pie. They do, however, make a very nice creamy soup, and a delicious puree that can be served as a side dish. Roast the pumpkins, scoop out the flesh, and puree it with butter, cream, salt, and a hint of nutmeg and cayenne pepper. It’s yummy.