The peaches and apricots in this sweet after-dinner treat are full of vitamins A and C.
In a large skillet, combine the vanilla, star anise, sugar, thyme, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and cook until syrupy, about 6 minutes.
Add fruit, reduce heat to medium, and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fruit is tender but not mushy, and the liquid is syrupy again. Shake the pan occasionally to prevent sticking, but don't stir, as this will break up the fruit. Remove and discard spices.
Spoon into bowls; top with ricotta.
Find a vanilla bean in specialty food stores. If you can't locate one, feel free to substitute with 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract (skip the imitation vanilla, which uses artificial flavors).