Pumpkin spice (optional)
Bake your Halloween jack o'lantern in the oven. (watch the face distort and shrink - it's fun!). This takes a good hour or two, depending on the size of your jack o'lantern, so keep checking your pumpkin as it is baking.
Use a cookie sheet underneath so you can easily take the hot mushy pumpkin out of the oven and to catch any drippings.
If your pumpkin was not carved, cut it in half before baking, otherwise it could explode and make a GIGANTIC mess!
You will see that the juice separates from the pumpkin flesh as it starts to bake, so spoon off this juice periodically and save it so it doesn't leak all over your oven.
Once your pumpkin flesh has baked long enough to be good and soft, remove from the oven and let it cool enough to touch.
Scoop the pumpkin flesh from the skin into a strainer with a container underneath.
Use a spoon to squeeze out the juice from the pumpkin through the strainer, so you have as "solid" a puree as possible, which you should save for your Pumpkin Pasties, pumpkin bread, or your favorite pie recipe.
You can freeze your pumpkin and pumpkin juice separately in plastic containers, and they can keep over a year in the freezer quite well.
After thawing the pumpkin, you can strain again for even better results (and more pumpkin juice!) since during freezing, the ice crystals were separated from the pumpkin naturally.
I did try using pumpkin pie spice mixture to flavor my juice, but I thought the flavor was too strong. I actually prefer plain, unsweetened pumpkin juice, since it is quite refreshing and tastes a bit like iced tea. My guests liked the Butterbeer much better though! ;)