This is one of those standby recipes that is an easy and elegant recipe that can easily be doubled if you want to... it is great as a stand alone dish but can also be used as ice cream topping, crepe filling or even as topping for waffles!
Seasonal Fruit Poached in Vanilla Syrup
3 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 2 in (5 cm) piece of vanilla bean (or 1 1/2 Tbs vanilla extract)
2 cups peeled, cored or stoned pear, peach, or apricot halves (approx. 4 peaches or pears, 8 apricots) or combination of these
Bring the water, sugar and vanilla to a boil in a 2 quart (2 L) saucepan over high heat. Add the fruit, reduce the heat, and cook uncovered at a very slow simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the fruit is soft but not mushy. Let the fruit cool in the syrup for 30 minutes, then remove it to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
Boil the remaining syrup until it is reduced by half and slightly thickened. Allow to cool and pour over the fruit. Refrigerate for at least one hour and serve chilled in dessert dishes or wine glasses. Serves 4.