Known as "Rizogalo" in Greek, this variation of the worldly popular dessert is made with whole milk, fresh vanilla bean, and uses a pinch of cinnamon for garnish spice.
6 Whole Almonds, toasted
2 Cups Cooked Rice
2.5 Cups Whole Milk
1 Whole Vanilla Bean or 2 tsp. extract
1.5 Cup Sugar
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
1.5 tsp Unsalted Butter
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
Place toasted almond in each ramekin or pudding bowl and set aside.
Place rice in large bowl and rinse with cool water. Pour rice into strainer and drain well. Set aside.
Pour milk into large saucepan. Split surface of vanilla bean lenghtwise down the center with tip of paring knife. Push side of knife down center of bean to open it up, loosening tiny seeds of the pod. Put whole pos and seed into milk. (If using vanilla extract, don't add yet).
Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and whisk in sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Ladle about .25 Cup of hot milk mixture very slowly into beaten egg while whisking gently. (This tempers the liquid so egg won't scramble.) Pour egg mixture into saucepan, stirring to combine with remaining hot milk. Add rice and raise heat to medium-high. Stir constantly over low heat until mixture begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Stir in butter and vanilla extract, if using. Immediately spoon pudding into ramekins or bowls. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.