Clean and wash the rice. Pour the water in a pot and add the rice. Boil the rice until semi-cooked. If it hasn't absorbed all of the water, drain it and leave aside.
In another pot, heat 3 1/3 cups (800 ml) of the milk, add the sugar and stir. Beat the egg yolks with a whisk, add the starch and remaining milk. Cut the bourbon vanilla pod in 2 and carefully scrape off the seeds with the tip of the knife. Put them in the bowl and stir until you obtain a homogeneous mixture without lumps.
Once the milk comes to a boil, lower the stove to a medium temperature, add the rice, stir and begin pouring in the egg mixture in a thin trickle, while stirring nonstop and being careful not to let it stick to the bottom of the pot.
Boil for 10 min., the mixture will begin to thicken a little. Remove from the stove. Put clay or oven-safe bowls in a large tray. Pour water into the tray, enough to cover the bottoms of the bowls, without pouring any inside them.
In each bowl, pour equal amounts of the milk and rice mixtures, while still warm. If using clay pots, they need to be dry and at room temperature, not cold. Pour the mixture in very carefully so they don't crack because of the hot mixture.
Place the tray in the oven. Bake at 356°F (180 °C) on the upper element until thickened and until a golden crust forms on top. Take the tray out, cool and put the desserts in the fridge for a few hours. Serve it cold.
Notes: Baking them in the oven gives them a creamy texture. It's an exceptionally elegant and sweet dessert. You can decrease the amount of rice if you prefer having more cream.
When pouring the mixture into the bowls, don't worry about it being too runny and not thick enough; it will thicken during baking.