I did some research on pears. Did you know that they are picked before they're ripe? That means that they're usually still on the green side in the store and have to be ripened on the counter for a couple of days. I hadn't known that before; I always used to be miffed that they were too hard at the supermarket!
Anyways, friends of ours recently gave us a jar of vanilla-pear jam as a present and we ate it faster than any jam we've ever eaten. That's where I got the idea for this compote.