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Armagnac-Poached Prunes with Vanilla Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups Armagnac or brandy
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cinnamon stick -- broken in half
1 piece fresh ginger - (1" long) -- thinly sliced
1 vanilla bean -- split lengthwise
1 pound pitted prunes -- halved (abt 3 cups)
Vanilla ice cream

Combine Armagnac, sugar, 1/2 cup water, cinnamon and ginger in medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Stir mixture over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add prunes and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer prune mixture to medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours. (Can be prepared 4 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

Remove cinnamon, ginger and vanilla bean from prune mixture. Divide prune mixture among 6 bowls. Top with scoops of vanilla ice cream.

This recipe yields 6 servings.

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