Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Heat the butter in a 4 quart saucepan. When frothy, add the rice and cook for 1 minute. Slowly add the milk, pinch of salt, sugar, vanilla and 1/2 of the cranberries and bring to under a boil. Transfer to a 9-inch square baking pan and set in the oven. Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes, then bake undisturbed for another 30 minutes. Then stir in the remaining 1/2 of the cranberries and bake for another 30 minutes (for a total of 2 1/2 hours).
Variations: you can to add heavy cream in the last 30 minutes of baking. Or if you want a crusty topping, reduce sugar to 1/4 cup. Once out of oven, crumble brown sugar and butter over the rice pudding and place under the broiler until melted and bubbly.
This recipe has been updated and may differ from what was originally published or broadcast.