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Serves six to eight

3½ cups whole milk

¼ cup heavy cream

1/3 cup light brown sugar

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½ cup long-grain white rice

¼ teaspoon salt

1 vanilla bean, split

1 cinnamon stick or 4 cardamom pods

1 strip orange peel, 1-inch wide

1/3 cup golden raisins

Crème fraîche, for serving (optional)

1. In a medium heavy-bottom pot, combine milk, cream, sugar, rice and salt. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and drop them in along with the pod. Stir in cinnamon and orange peel. Bring mixture to a simmer; cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until rice is tender and mixture is slightly thickened, 30 to 40 minutes. Do not let mixture come to a boil, and don’t let it get too thick, because it will thicken as it cools. Stir in raisins and let pudding rest for 5 minutes to soften them.

2. Serve pudding warm, room temperature or chilled, with dollops of crème fraîche, if desired.

By Melissa Clark, The New York Times

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