Add rice to boiling water and blanch for 5 minutes.
Drain, then return to pan and
add milk, cream and sugar. Add vanilla bean, which has been split, scraped and added
to the rice, pod, seeds and all.
Simmer uncovered so milk is visibly but very gently bubbling, about 45 minutes
After rice has simmered about 20 minutes, add raisins. At this point, add 1 teaspoon
of very fine lemon zest if desired. Stir frequently with a wooden spatula or pudding
Lightly beat yolks. Remove about 1/2 cup hot rice pudding and mix it with the
yolks. When well combined, return mixture to the rice pudding, turn off the heat,
and stir well. Add butter and stir until melted. Remove, rinse, and dry vanilla
bean for another use. Spoon rice pudding into small bowls or dessert cups.
Refrigerate until serving time.
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