My parents (yes, at 50, I still live at home) haven't quite gotten the idea of "if you're not cooking it, and you're not eating it, it doesn't concern you." And so they assumed that I would want a vanilla cream pie for Thanksgiving dessert (I have neither made, nor eaten one in 2-3 years, and don't really need a dessert that's pure, unadulterated, empty calories, with a large minimum serving size, and a shelf-life of maybe 3-4 days, that nobody else in the house eats), and bought a frozen pie shell and 2 (!) boxes of cooked (!) vanilla pudding. At least nobody went out and bought the most perishable of the ingredients (a carton of half-and-half).
Here, BTW, is the recipe for said pie:
1 blind-baked pie shell
1 package of INSTANT vanilla pudding, made with half-and-half, instead of with milk.
I think it unlikely that the recipe would even work with cooked pudding: I'd expect cooked pudding to curdle if made with half-and-half instead of milk.
At any rate, I'm making my "Innsbruck Dream Bars" (think "Vienna Dream Bars" with a 50-50 mix of almond flakes and long-cooking rolled oats instead of the coconut flakes, and cashews and macadamias for the chopped nuts) tomorrow; at least they have a tiny bit of food value, some fiber, a smaller serving size, and a 2-week shelf-life.
That leaves me with frozen pie shells (I was planning on trying to bake some single-serving double-crust chicken pies sometime next year anyway), and 2 packages of cooked vanilla pudding (for which I have, at present, no conceivable use, and which I can't imagine a charity food-drive even wanting). And just about every regular cake mix on the market boldly proclaims "pudding [already] in the mix," right on the front of the box.
Any suggestions on what to do with the packages of pudding, before they go bad in the box?
Cooked pudding will be just fine with half-and-half. Try it. Why would you think it would curdle? I mean, if you cook sugar and cornstarch and half-and-half, you have the base for classic pastry cream. How does a dry boxed mixture of the sugar and starch change anything?
And did you know that people have been putting cooked pudding (after cooling for a few minutes) into prebaked pie shells for hundreds of years...maybe that's why they were bought.
So here are your options: you can blend the pie filling mixes with pumpkin and more sugar and some spices and eggs, and make pumpkin pie. Or pumpkin mousse. Or vanilla or rum Bavarian cream.
Or you can add them to the next two cakes you bake in place of part of the flour. If you read cake mix labels, you would know that the "pudding" has gone the same way as the dried milk, replaced by the cheapest reprocessed starches possible.