In this dessert recipe, oven-roasted nectarines create their own vanilla syrup as they're baked in delicious vanilla-flavored sugar.
Using a paring knife, split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Carefully scrape the seeds out into a small bowl. (If you like, save the empty pod and place it in your sugar jar to scent your sugar.) Stir sugar into vanilla seeds; mix well. (If using vanilla, stir it into the melted butter).
Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture over the bottom of a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Place the nectarine halves, cut side down, on the sugar mixture. Pour the water into pan. Brush the fruit generously with the melted butter. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture.
Roast in a 350 degree F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until juice begins to thicken and the fruit can be easily pierced with a knife, spooning juices over fruit occasionally. (The roasting time will vary according to the ripeness of the fruit.)
Serve nectarines drizzled with juices over the top. If you like, serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Makes 8 servings.