In a covered heavy saucepan, bring the rice, milk, apricots, vanilla scrapings and lemon zest to a simmer over medium heat. Immediately reduce the heat to as low as possible, cover tightly, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the rice is very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn off the heat. Stir the egg yolks into the cooked rice mixture and stir just until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the sugar. Pour the rice pudding into ramekins or dessert cups and let cool. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until ready to serve, up to 24 hours. Serve with whipped cream.
Courtesy Gale Gand, “Butter Sugar Flour Eggs” by Gale Gand, Rick Tramonto, Julia Moskin, Clarkson N. Potter Publishers, 1999