This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy pumpkin. I like to serve it with whipped cream and either pumpkin bread or spice cake.
3 cups whole milk divided
15 oz. canned pumpkin puree (about 1 3/4 cups)
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice mix
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter preferably salted
whipped cream and crumbled gingersnap cookies for garnish, optional
Get a medium saucepan and put 2 cups of milk, 15 ounces of pumpkin puree, and 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice mix in it. Stir occasionally and heat it on medium-low until it starts to gently bubble.
While that's heating up, take a medium-sized bowl. In it, mix 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Gradually pour in the remaining 1 cup of milk while stirring. Make sure to get rid of any lumps of cornstarch before adding more. Add 4 egg yolks and mix until everything is really smooth.
Use a ladle to transfer about half of the hot pumpkin mixture into the sugar and egg mixture. Do this slowly and keep stirring. Keep whisking until it's a smooth mixture. Then, gradually put the mixture back into the saucepan, while stirring continuously.
Keep cooking it on medium heat and keep stirring until it starts to bubble. Keep cooking and stirring (it's a bit of a workout!) until the mixture thickens, which takes about 3-4 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of salted butter. Keep whisking or stirring until the butter has melted and everything is mixed well.
Put the pudding into individual serving dishes or a small-medium bowl. To prevent a skin from forming, cover the top with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until it's cool, which usually takes about 2 hours. You can add crumbled gingersnap cookies and whipped cream on top when serving if you like. Enjoy!