In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in rice and salt, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until rice absorbs water, about 15 minutes. Increase heat to medium and add sugar, milk, cinnamon stick, and vanilla. Stir until mixture comes to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and continue stirring until rice becomes thick and creamy, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in orange zest, and set aside to cool.
Once mixture comes to room temperature, stir once more. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface of pudding. Refrigerate overnight. To serve, scoop pudding into bowls and top with bourbon plum compote.
Bourbon Plum Compote
This recipe makes enough for the rice pudding and more. Extra compote is delicious on greek yogurt and vanilla ice cream.
Tip: Feel free to use cheap bourbon in the compote: Most of the booze burns off, so save the good stuff for sipping.
½ cup bourbon
⅓ cup sugar
Juice of ½ orange
6 red or black plums, quartered and pits removed, then quarters sliced into thirds
Zest of 1 orange
In a pot large enough to hold plums, bring bourbon, sugar, orange juice, and ½ cup water to a boil over medium high heat. Add plums and stir to coat. Return mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove plums and transfer to a bowl. Continue to cook liquid until reduced by half (it should be the consistency of syrup). Stir in zest. Pour over plums. Store mixture in the refrigerator for up to a week or the freezer for up to three months.