2 1/2 to 3 cups whole milk
1 to 2 cups water
3/4 cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon anise seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup diced candied lemon peel or orange peel
Combine 2 1/2 cups of the milk, 1 cup of the water, rice, sugar, butter, anise seed and salt in the slow cooker, stirring to incorporate. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours, stirring a total of three times in that period.
Whisk together the egg, egg yolk, cream and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until creamy and light. Slowly whisk in about 1 1/2 cups of the hot rice pudding, whisking until smooth, then return that tempered mixture to the remaining rice pudding in the slow cooker. If the mixture seems too thick, add milk and/or water as needed. Stir in the candied lemon or orange peel.
Partially cover and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. (The pudding will thicken a bit further.)
NOTE: You'll need a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker or an Instant Pot (on the slow-cooker setting). To cook this pudding on the stove top, adjust the first step by increasing the milk to 3 cups, increasing the water to 2 cups and decreasing the anise seed to 1/2 teaspoon; place the ingredients in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is bubbling at the edges (but does not come to a full boil). Reduce the heat to low; cook for about 55 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture has a porridgelike consistency. Follow the rest of the recipe as written.
Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough