Rice Pudding

1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups whole or low-fat milk
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup cooked white rice

Center a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Boil a kettle of water and set aside; have ready a baking dish large enough to hold the loaf pan.

Whisk together the sugar, eggs and salt in a medium bowl.

Place the milk in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until small bubbles appear around the edges; be careful not to boil. Add the scalded milk to the egg mixture, then add the raisins, if desired, vanilla extract, cinnamon, honey and lemon zest, stirring to combine. Add the rice and mix well. (The consistency will be that of a cream-based soup.) Transfer the mixture to the loaf pan and place the pan inside the larger baking dish.

Pull out the center oven rack and place the baking dish on it, then fill the baking dish with the boiled water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the loaf pan. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour, until the top is browned and the pudding is firm. Slice to serve.