whipped cream and crumbled gingersnap cookiesfor garnish, optional
In a medium saucepan, whisk together 2 cups of the milk, the pumpkin puree (15 oz.), and the pumpkin pie spice mix (2 teaspoons). Heat on medium-low, whisking occasionally, until it begins to bubble gently.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar (1 cup), cornstarch (1/4 cup), salt (1/4 teaspoon. Gradually add the remaining 1 cup of milk while whisking, making sure to smooth out any lumps of cornstarch before adding more. Add the egg yolks (4) and whisk to combine until everything is very smooth.
Using a ladle, transfer about half of the hot pumpkin mixture to the sugar and egg mixture, gradually, whisking continuously. Continue whisking until it's a smooth mixture. Then, gradually transfer the mixture back into the saucepan, whisking continuously.
Continue to cook over medium heat, whisking continuously, until it starts to bubble. Continue to cook and whisk constantly (it's a workout!) until the mixture has thickened (about 3-4 minutes). Remove the pan from heat and add the vanilla extract (1 teaspoon) and salted butter (2 tablespoons) and whisk/stir to combine until butter has melted.
Transfer the pudding to individual serving dishes or a small-medium bowl. Press plastic wrap on the top to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until cool (about 2 hours). Serve garnished with crumbled gingersnap cookies and whipped cream, if desired.
To crumble the gingersnaps, place them in a zip-top plastic bag and whack them with a rolling pin.
Store in the fridge for up to 5-7 days, with plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Stir together if there is any separation.
Freeze in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Or pour into popsicle molds for a frozen treat!
For a dairy free version, use plant-based milk and omit the butter (or use ghee instead).
You can use two whole eggs instead of 4 egg yolks, but the texture will be different (not as thick, rich, and creamy) and the color will be different. Instead, I suggest saving the egg whites and using them in a frittata or quiche.