Pumpkin Cream Pie

1 1/2 cup ground gingersnaps (about 30 cookies)
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons salted butter, melted & slightly cooled

2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cup solid- pack pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon salted butter
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whisked to medium peaks

10 pecan halves
1/2 cup sugar
sprinkle of ground cinnamon

To make the crust, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly mix the ground gingersnaps with the melted butter & sugar. Firmly press the cookie crumbs into your 9 inch pie plate and make a lip around the edges. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Set crust aside to cool.

To make the pumpkin cream filling, bring the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg cloves, 1/4 cup sugar and a pinch of salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. In a medium sized bowl, whisk eggs yolks with cornstarch and 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl. Gradually add your milk mixture into your yolk mixture. When you've completely mixed the milk mixture with the yolks, pour liquid back into saucepan. Whisk constantly, over medium heat until bubbling in the center, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in pumpkin puree & the melted butter. Strain filling through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Pour the cream filling into the gingersnap crust, smoothing the top with an offset spatula. Refrigerate until set for least 4 hours.

To make the candied nuts, melt 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the sugar starts to turn light brown, add a pinch of cinnamon and drop the pecans in. Gently stir to coat each one, and set them on a piece of parchment paper to cool. After cooling for about 8 minutes, chop the pecans and set them aside for the pie. When ready, serve with fresh whipped cream on top of the pumpkin cream filling and sprinkle the candied pecans on top.