We'll be very surprised if this isn't the creamiest custard you've ever eaten. It's so good, it might even upstage your holiday pumpkin pie.
Heat the oven to 300º F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, yolks, vanilla extract, spices, and salt. Set the mixture aside.
In a medium-size saucepan, whisk together the light and heavy creams, pumpkin, and maple syrup, then bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Do not let the mixture boil.
Remove the pan from the heat once the pumpkin mixture is hot, about 5 minutes. Add it by the ladleful to the yolk mixture, stirring continuously. Don't pour it all in at once or it will cook the yolks too quickly.
Once the mixtures are blended, divide the custard evenly among 6 standard custard cups. Pour 3/4 inch of hot water into a large, shallow casserole dish, then arrange the cups, evenly spaced, in the dish. Bake the custards, uncovered, on the center oven rack until their centers are jiggly but no longer soupy, about 45 to 50 minutes. Carefully transfer the cups to a wire rack to cool.
When the custards reach room temperature, cover the dishes individually with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 6 hours. Makes 6 servings.