1 tablespoon egg white
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
To make the sugared pecans, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white, granulated sugar, and cinnamon until well blended. Add the pecan halves and toss with a spoon until the pecans are completely coated with the egg white-sugar mixture. Spread the coated pecans on a baking sheet.
Bake, tossing occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and cool the nuts completely. Chop the nuts coarsely and set aside.
To make the maple pudding, in a medium nonreactive saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, salt, milk, brown sugar, and maple syrup until smooth. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil, whisking constantly. Remove the pan from the heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks until smooth. Whisk about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks. Return this mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter pieces until completely melted. Whisk in the vanilla, maple flavoring, and 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans.
Spoon into 4 sundae glasses, cover with plastic wrap (unless you want a skin to form), pressing it directly onto the surface of the pudding, and refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until well chilled. Just before serving, garnish with whipped cream and the reserved sugared pecans.