I am glad that I honored the suggestion that the vanilla beans were essential, because they totally make this recipe. I have been thoroughly enjoying this sweet, vanilla, pear goodness on bread. It is so good that way that I haven't ventured beyond that yet, but I can imagine it would also be good on ice cream or mixed into yogurt.
I am noticing that the more batches of preserves and jams I make, the less tiresome the process is for me. I managed to make this batch on a work night while my dad chatted with me in the kitchen. I think most of the labor is spent on the sterilization process for the hot water bath canning. I'm getting a system down for that, too.
Now, I have to decide what is next. I think it might depend on what the next round of in-season, affordable fruit is...maybe rhubarb!