Creamy, sweet mild rice pudding is a palette to paint new flavours upon - well, that's a little silly, but wait until you taste it with cardamom, lemon and orange zest and vanilla! I think you'll really like it.
Heat the long-grain rice (not easy-cook) in a heavy-based pan, preferably nonstick, with the 500ml semi-skimmed milk, cardamom, orange zest and lemon zest. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat to the lowest setting and stir until the milk sinks back, then cover and cook gently for 15 minutes, giving the pan a shake occasionally.
Stir in the 300ml full fat milk and bring back to the boil, stirring all the time. Boil, stirring constantly, for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir for 1 minute, then stir in the sugar and vanilla extract. Serve hot or cold.