This rich custard, like the filling for a traditional pumpkin pie, is baked in a hollowed-out 'SmallSugar Pie' pumpkin and topped with a drizzle of maple syrup and a large spoonful of whippedcream.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Oil a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan; set aside. Place a steamer basket in a medium saucepan filled with several inches of water; cover, and bring water to a boil. Add pumpkins; steam until just tender, 10 to 20 minutes. Remove from steamer; set aside to cool.
Cut off the tops of the pumpkins, and remove the seeds and stringy pulp. Transfer to baking pan, and set aside.
Place puree, 1/2 cup maple syrup, sugar, eggs, 1 cup cream, salt, and spices in a medium bowl; whisk until well combined. Pour custard into prepared pumpkins, pouring in only enough to reach lower edge of opening. Bake until custard puffs and sets and a knife inserted into pumpkin comes out clean, 40 to 90 minutes, depending on shape and thickness of pumpkin. Alternatively, pour 3/4 cup mixture into six 6-ounce ovenproof ramekins or custard cups. Set ramekins in a water bath; bake until edges are firm and center is still slightly wobbly, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Whip remaining cup cream. Cut pumpkin into wedges, and serve wedges or ramekins with whipped cream and maple syrup.
This custard can be baked in two small pumpkins or in individual ramekins. The baking time for custards baked in pumpkin shells is slightly longer, because the pumpkins insulate the custard as it bakes.