Makes:4 to 6 servings
Short-grain Arborio rice makes this rice pudding extra-creamy. When paired with slightly sour broiled plums, it’s a comforting treat.
What to buy: We recommend using short-grain rice, specifically Arborio (which is best known for its use in risottos), because it releases its starch while it cooks, making for a very creamy pudding.
Game plan: Tying the orange zest and cinnamon stick together allows for easier removal later on. If you don’t have butcher’s twine, just put the cinnamon and orange straight into the pot and remove them with tongs or a fork before serving.
Heat the broiler on high and arrange a rack in the upper third. Combine plums, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and the vanilla in a medium bowl and toss to coat the plums. Set aside.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the orange zest in strips, being sure to leave the white pith behind. Tie the zest and the cinnamon stick together with butcher’s twine.
Place the orange zest package, milk, rice, remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a large saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, uncovered and stirring occasionally, over medium heat.
Reduce heat to low so the mixture is barely simmering and cover. Cook, stirring frequently, until rice is tender and mixture is thick, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered while you broil the plums.
Spread plums on a baking sheet in a single layer and place under the broiler until browned and softened, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time, about 10 minutes total.
Discard orange zest and cinnamon stick, spoon pudding into individual bowls, top with plums, and serve.
Beverage pairing:Confit de la Colline, France. The sweet flavors of honey, flowers, and ripe pears and apples in this wine will be a nice complement to the plums and the gentle, grainy flavors of the pudding. The wine’s good acidity also helps lift a rich, creamy dish.