Recipe: Carolina Gold Rice Pudding with Bourbon Plum Compote

We recommend using Lavington Farms' Carolina Gold rice from Food for the Southern Soul.

This isn’t your mom’s set-it-and-forget-it rice pudding. Think of it as a sweet risotto (read: lots of stirring). So pour yourself a glass of wine, you’re gonna be here for a while.

Tip: Don’t throw away that scraped vanilla bean: Nestle it in your sugar jar for vanilla-scented sugar.

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Serves 4 to 6 

Rice Pudding

1 cup Carolina Gold rice

Pinch of salt

⅔ cup sugar

4½ cups whole milk

1 cinnamon stick

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Zest of 1 orange

Bourbon plum compote (recipe follows) 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Recipe by John Ondo

Photography by Leslie Ryann McKellar