broken in half
arborio (short-grain) rice
dark, for topping
or cream, for topping
In a saucepan, combine apple juice, cinnamon sticks and nutmeg.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; immediately reduce heat to low and keep warm.
At same time, in a separate saucepan, warm milk over medium-low heat; turn off heat and keep warm.
In a large, non-aluminum saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter.
Add rice and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until rice begins to turn translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
Ladle about ½ cup of hot apple juice and stir rice until it absorbs juice.
Continue adding juice about ¼ cup at a time until absorbed.
When all the juice has been absorbed ladle in about ½ cup of warm milk along with raisins.
Stir until milk is absorbed.
Add remaining milk the same way, stirring after each addition until fully absorbed before adding more milk.
All liquid will have been added and rice will be tender in about 30 minutes.
Test a few kernels; they should be al denta --- creamy on the outside but firm to the bite at the center.
Remove pan from heat, cover and let stand for about 5 minutes.
Isdle risotto into warmed individual bowls.
Pass brown sugar and milk or half-and-half at table to be added to taste.