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Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 (8-ounce) ramekins or a small, shallow gratin dish with a 2- to 3-cup capacity (see Note).
Prepare the puddings: In a large, heatproof bowl, combine the dates, butter, lemon zest and baking soda. Stir in the boiling water. Let sit for 10 minutes or until cool.
Whisk in pumpkin purée, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves and fine sea salt until well combined, then whisk in the flour.
Scrape batter into the prepared ramekins and bake until just firm when pressed in the center, 28 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack until ready to serve. (Pudding can be baked up to 8 hours ahead.)
Prepare the sauce: In a medium pot over medium heat, combine the sugar, pumpkin puree, heavy cream and salt. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Whisk in the butter, and bourbon (if using). If the sauce separates, use an immersion or regular blender to blend it together.
Just before serving, heat the broiler. Pour a little of the sauce over each pudding. Broil until the puddings bubble, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle tops with flaky sea salt, and serve at once, with more sauce and crème fraîche dolloped on top.