Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, evaporated milk, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch, spices, and salt. Break up any clumps.
Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, whisking until well-blended.
Pour the mixture into four 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups, dividing evenly. Place the cups in a 9 X 13-inch baking pan with high sides. Add enough warm or boiling water to the baking pan that it comes halfway up the sides of the cups.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until set and browned lightly. When set, the center will have a slight jiggle and a knife inserted into the center will come out clean. Carefully transfer the pumpkin custard to a wire rack to cool.
Serve warm, cool, or chilled with whipped cream and pecans (optional).