3 cups Water
1 cup Sugar
1 piece Vanilla Beans 2 inches long
4 ripe Asian Pears peeled, halved, cored and stoned (peaches, apricots or regular pears may be substituted)
In a 12 inch saucepan bring the water, sugar and vanilla to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Add the fruit, reduce the heat, and cook uncovered at a very slow simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the fruit is soft but not mushy.
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 it thickens slightly, then pour it over the fruit.
Refrigerate the fruit and syrup and serve it chilled in dessert dishes or wine glasses.