Rinse rice with cold water; place in a small bowl. Cover with water to 1 inch above rice; soak 1 hour. Drain well. Combine 2 tablespoons milk and saffron in a small bowl; let stand 30 minutes.
Place remaining milk in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in rice, saffron mixture, and sugar; cook 30 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally.
Stir in cranberries, almonds, and vanilla; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in rind. Spoon about 1/2 cup rice mixture into each of 6 small bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons pistachios.
Very tasty. It does seem to take a long time to cook -- and I think I may have actually overcooked it a little this time! The end product was just SO thick, too thick. Cooked away the rice's gluten too much I guess? Or maybe because I doubled the recipe? But as stated already; still very tasty!! I'll be having leftovers for breakfast :-)
I'm not sure if I've eaten pudding this delicious before. We followed the recipe exactly and attained fantastic results. It does take a long time to cook, with constant stirring - worth it though. Definitely suitable for guests and a special occassion.
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