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.