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.
My approach to compote is rather inexact. In my experience, it's pretty hard to mess it up. This recipe doesn't actually have precise measurements, but I've tried my best to clearly convey what needs to be done.
5 large ripe Bosc pears
1 vanilla bean
(Sugar to taste)*
*I didn't need any; when I make this with apples, I usually need about 2 tablespoons.
Peel the pears and chop into 1-inch cubes, keeping in mind that it's all going to end up as mush anyways - so don't kill yourself trying to make them beautiful!
Place the pears into a large saucepan. With a small knife, cut the vanilla bean crosswise in half, then split it open lengthwise. Place the two pieces into the pan.
Now, pour some water into the pan, just enough to cover most of the pears, but not completely. Consult the picture below to see just what I mean!
Pour the contents of the saucepan into a blender and purée to desired consistency. You may want to add some sugar to sweeten, but chances are the pears are sweet enough on their own, those naughty little buggers!
Cool before serving. Yields 6 cups.
Les choses les plus simples sont souvent les meilleures!