Rice pudding is prepared in one form or another all over the eastern Mediterranean. This Moroccan version is particularly delicious, perhaps because the rice is cooked in two stages; first it's boiled in water, then it's simmered in milk.
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3/4 cup arborio rice
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon orange-flower water (optional)
1/2 cup blanched almonds
How to Make It
In a fine-mesh sieve, rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Transfer the rice to a medium saucepan. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter, cover and cook over low heat until the water is almost completely absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the milk and sugar and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the orange-flower water and simmer for 1 minute. Transfer the rice pudding to a bowl and let cool; the pudding will firm up.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt the remaining 1 teaspoon of butter. Add the almonds and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 6 minutes. Transfer the almonds to a plate to cool. Sprinkle the almonds over the pudding and serve.
The rice pudding can be refrigerated overnight. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
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