"Here is a classic dessert with a bit of a twist that will stun your Thanksgiving guests, plus it's a great excuse to buy a kitchen torch if you don't already have one. If the idea of parfaits feels like a bit too much work here, feel free to bake the custard in the traditional way in ramekins, brulee the top, then garnish with the candied pumpkin. You can use a 2-inch round cutter for a round serving dish such as a stemmed champagne coupe. These can be made 2 to 3 days ahead, stored in the freezer. Remove 30 minutes before serving. Serve as-is or with whipped cream or caramel sauce."
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper; coat with cooking spray.
Mix 3/4 cup white sugar, egg yolks, egg, vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cardamom, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on low speed until well combined.
Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until it begins to bubble, about 5 minutes; remove from heat. Add cream to the egg mixture slowly, mixing on low speed. Pour custard into the prepared baking dish.
Set the baking pan into a roasting pan; carefully pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking pan.
Bake in the preheated oven until the custard is set when gently shaken, 45 to 50 minutes.
Remove baking pan from roasting pan. Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Freeze until firm, at least 1 hour.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add brown sugar, salt, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, and cinnamon; stir to combine. Add frozen pumpkin and simmer, stirring often, until reduced, about 8 minutes. Cool candied pumpkin to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
Cut custard into 18 squares using a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Place 1 custard square in a serving dish, add a layer of candied pumpkin, and top with another square. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Use a kitchen torch to flame tops until deeply caramelized and a crunchy layer has formed.