1Combine butter, anise seed, honey, and vanilla bean in a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy; set aside.
2Prepare an assortment of summer fruit, including quartered figs; sliced peaches, plums, and apricots; pitted and halved cherries; diced mango and papaya; sliced red bananas; halved strawberries; and whole raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
3Preheat the broiler. Spread the fruit out on a metal baking pan. Spoon bits of the butter mixture over, using about half of the butter. (Refrigerate the remainder for another use.) Broil the fruit for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling and browned. Serve with pound cake, angel food cake, shortbread cookies, or vanilla ice cream.
Beverage pairing: Casta Diva Cosecha Miel Moscatel, Spain. It’s rare to see great dessert wine from Spain (besides sherry), but this wonderful Muscat is a great match for mixed fruit as it has a tutti frutti quality itself, merged with honey, spice, and earth. A complex companion to a complex dessert.