By Craig Claiborne
Peel pears, leaving them whole with stems intact.
Combine sugar, water, lemon juice, salt and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, add three pears, and cook, covered, for thirty minutes, or until tender. Remove and reserve. Cook remaining pears.
Return the first poached pears to the syrup, and let all stand until cool. Chill. Remove vanilla bean if used.