Line bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment; coat parchment and sides of pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Set aside.
Fill a medium pot with salted water. Bring to a rolling boil. Add rice; boil for 5 minutes, then drain.
In a large pot, bring water and half-and-half to a simmer. Add sugar, vanilla seeds remaining butter and lemon zest, whisking until sugar dissolves and seeds are well incorporated. Add rice and return to a low simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook until liquid is absorbed, then spread on a rimmed baking sheet and cool.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Transfer cooled rice to a large bowl. Add lightly beaten egg yolks to rice and mix well. Stir in cherries. Add salt to egg whites and whip to medium peaks; fold into rice mixture. Transfer mixture into cake pan; bake for about 75 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool; drizzle with honey. Makes 10 servings.
Approximate Nutrient Analysis per serving:
330 calories, 18 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 105 mg cholesterol, 100 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 6 g protein