Combine the water and sugar in a medium-sized, heavy pot and heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Tilt pan to ensure that sugar is dissolved. Do not stir or the sugar will crystallize. Increase heat to high and cook until sugar turns amber.
Carefully pour liquid caramel into 6x 3-inch (6 oz.) ramekins, dividing equally and tilting ramekins to cover the bottoms with the caramel.
Bring milk just to a boil in medium pot with salt , cloves , ginger and scraped vanilla bean. Remove from heat and cover and let steep for ten minutes. Strain into a bowl with the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until dissolved.
Stir together eggs and pumpkin puree in a medium bowl until well blended. Pour in warm milk and stir. Pour over caramel lined ramekins.
Transfer ramekins to a baking pan and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted in the centers and the crème caramel jiggles as one. Remove ramekins from bath and let cool to room temperature.
Chill covered until ready to serve.
To serve, run knife around the outside of ramekins to release the custards and flip onto a plate.
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