- 4 cup water
- about 2 teaspoons table salt or 4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cup medium-grain or long grain rice
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted margarine or butter
- 6 to 8 large eggs
- 3/4 to 1 cup granulated or brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 to 1 cup raisins, chopped dried apricots, or chopped pitted dates (optional)
- 3 peeled, cored, and chopped apples (optional)
- about 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon for sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13- by 9-inch baking dish.
2. Bring the water and 1½ teaspoons table salt or 3 teaspoons kosher salt to a boil. Add the rice, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 18 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Add the butter to the hot rice and let melt.
3. Meanwhile, beat the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon table salt or 1 teaspoon kosher salt, vanilla, and, if using, zest. Stir in the rice and, if using, raisins and apples.
4. Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle lightly with the cinnamon. Bake until golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.