vanilla rice pudding with sweet orange slices and orange syrup

arance con riso dolce al latte e vaniglia

4 servings

Soothing, creamy rice pudding gets a bright hit of flavor and color from sweetened cooked orange slices and a drizzle of intensely flavored orange syrup. 




In a medium saucepan, combine milk, 1 1/2 cups water, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, and salt; bring to a boil. Add rice, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until rice is tender and pudding is creamy, about 45 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cut 2 oranges crosswise into 16 (1/4-inch-thick) slices. Juice remaining 2 oranges; strain juice through a fine-mesh sieve (you should have at least 2/3 cup juice); set juice aside. 
In a medium saucepan, combine orange slices, remaining 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for 15 minutes. 
Using a slotted spoon, transfer orange slices to a large plate. Increase heat to high and bring liquid to a boil; cook until thickened, about 8 minutes more. Remove from heat and whisk in 2/3 cup of the reserved orange juice. 
Serve rice pudding warm or at room temperature, with orange slices and a drizzle of syrup.