Combine 1 cup of sugar and 3 cups of milk in Instant Pot. Turn on sauté feature, set to "normal".
Sauté for 15 minutes, whisking occasionally as the milk warms and sugar dissolves. Once milk begins to simmer, stop stirring and allow to continue to rapidly simmer undisturbed for remainder of the 15 minutes.
Carefully remove inner pot from Instant Pot. Skim off and discard any foam (there may be none), and pour milk/sugar mixture into a large bowl to cool. Wash pot, dry, and return to Instant Pot.
Add remaining cup of milk, pumpkin, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice to pot and turn on Keep Warm setting.
Whisk, then heat for 2 to 5 minutes, until milk is heated through and the mixture is well combined.
Place a fine mesh strainer, or use a colander lined in cheesecloth, over the bowl containing the sugar/milk mixture. Then, pour the pumpkin mixture through the strainer to remove some of the pumpkin and pumpkin spice sediment (optional step). Whisk to combine milk mixture and pumpkin mixture. Store in an air tight container, such as a quart sized mason jar, in the fridge.
To make on the stove top:
Combine 1 cup of sugar and 3 cups of milk in a sauce pan over medium low heat, whisking often until milk is warm and sugar is dissolved.
Once sugar is dissolved, bring to rapid simmer over medium heat. Once milk begins to simmer, stop whisking and allow to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes (until reduced to 2 cups) undisturbed.
Remove from heat. Skim off any foam that has accumulated on the top and discard. Then, pour milk and sugar mixture into a large bowl.
In a small saucepan, combine remaining cup of milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice over medium low heat, whisking occasionally.
Heat pumpkin mixture until warmed through, then pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove some of the pumpkin and spice sediment (optional step) and combine with milk and sugar mixture. Store in an air tight container, such as a quart sized mason jar, in the fridge.
This creamer is very sweet as is, but if you prefer a sweeter creamer, add maple syrup to the finished product until desired level of sweetness is achieved.
This makes approximately ¾ quarts, though it may make more or less depending on how much the sugar and milk mixture reduces while cooking.
By simmering, and reducing, the milk and sugar mixture on the stove or in the Instant Pot, you are creating fresh sweetened condensed milk. I find the flavor to be noticeably fresher than canned sweetened condensed milk. However, in a pinch you could substitute 1 ½ cups sweetened condensed milk and skip steps 1 to 3 of the recipe. Please note that the finished product will not taste exactly the same.
To make sugar-free creamer, simply leave the sugar out and follow all other instructions. Then, add sugar-free sweetener of choice to finished product.
Can I substitute almond milk for whole milk? Yes! The result will not be quite as creamy, but it will yield a good plant based creamer.How long will this keep in the fridge for? Store creamer in the refrigerator in an airtight container, such as a mason jar, for up to one week.