Creamy Rice Pudding with Cardamom and Saffron
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup uncooked medium grain white rice
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- Pinch of salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 pinches of saffron
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom powder
- Chopped pistachios and almonds
Take 2 tablespoons of the milk and add saffron to it in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Add the 2 Tablsepoons saffron milk, the remaining milk, rice, salt, cardamom and split vanilla bean (yes, add it whole) into a large, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender - about eight minutes. The pudding should be reduced to about 3.5 cups.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar. Slowly add the cooked rice mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, scraping the bowl.
Set the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring and scraping sides constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of the spoon, about 1 minute.
Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the pudding to a bowl or serving dish and lay a sheet of plastic wrap right on the pudding's surface to prevent a skin from forming.
Fish out the vanilla bean when the pudding has cooled, scrape out the seeds, and stir the scrapings into the pudding. Discard empty bean.
Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.