Late summer and early fall are boom times for raspberries and figs, as well as the beginning of the season for pears. Together, the three make a stunning compote that's delicious with biscotti.
Cooking Light AUGUST 2000
Peel and core the pears. Cut each pear in half lengthwise. Combine water and the next 4 ingredients (water through whole cloves) in a large nonaluminum saucepan. Scrape seeds from the vanilla bean, and add to sugar mixture; discard bean. Bring sugar mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Place pears, cut sides up, in pan; simmer 25 minutes or until tender. Remove pear halves with a slotted spoon, reserving the sugar mixture; place pear halves in a large shallow dish. Cover and chill.
Bring sugar mixture to a boil; cook until reduced to 1 cup (about 30 minutes). Cool. Serve each pear half with 2 tablespoons sauce, 2 tablespoons raspberries, and 3 fig halves; garnish with a mint sprig, if desired.
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