¼ cup (1 ½ ounces) raisins
3 tablespoons aquavit or vodka
¾ cup (5 ounces) jasmine rice, rinsed in a colander under warm water
3 cups water
2 cups whole milk (divided)
6 tablespoons sugar
2 bay leaves
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
2 pieces orange peel (½-by-2-inch with no pith)
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 whole star anise
1/16 teaspoon ground mace
1/16 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon loose-pack saffron
¼ cup half-and-half cream
2 teaspoons salted butter
Unsweetened Greek yogurt for garnish
Good-quality berry preserves for garnish
Place raisins in a small saucepan with the aquavit or vodka, and bring to a boil. Cover, let cool and reserve.
Place the rinsed rice and the water in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil, stirring. Allow to boil 30 seconds, then drain in a strainer. Return rice to pot, then add 1 ¾ cups of the milk, the sugar, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, orange peel, cardamom, star anise, mace, salt and saffron.
Bring to a simmer three-fourths covered, stirring periodically so rice does not stick to bottom of pan, and simmer about 20 minutes until rice is fully cooked and mixture is thick but still moist – the consistency of rice pudding. Transfer to a bowl, fold in the reserved raisins and liquid, and let cool. When cool, remove whole spices.
When rice is almost room temperature, in another bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half and remaining ¼ cup milk. Add to rice mixture and, with a rubber spatula, mix together.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a nonstick ovenproof 10-inch saute pan over medium heat. Add the butter, swirl it around and, when bubbling, add the rice mixture and even it out.
Place in preheated oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until pancake is set and cooked. Remove from oven and carefully invert onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop each of the unsweetened Greek yogurt and the preserves.