3 cups Water
1 cup Sugar
1 Vanilla Beans 2 inch piece
4 ripe Pear peeled, halved and cored or 4 ripe Peaches peeled, halved and cored or 8 ripe Apricot peeled, halved and stoned
In a 12 inch saucepan (enamel preferred) bring the water, sugar and vanilla to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the fruit, reduce the heat, and simmer slowly in an uncovered saucepan 15-20 minutes, or until the fruit is soft but not mushy when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Let the fruit cool in the syrup for 30 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the fruit to a serving bowl or baking dish. Boil the syrup briskly over high heat until slightly thickened, and pour it over the fruit. Refrigerate the fruit, and serve it chilled in dessert dishes, small bowls, or champagne glasses with a spoonful of syrup in each portion.