In a medium pot, combine the water and 2 cups of the sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat up to high and add the cherries, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes.
While the cherries are simmering, turn the oven on to broil. Mix the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the pine nuts and pour onto a plate. Dip the apricot halves cut side down into the sugar-nut mixture. Place the apricots on 2 nonstick cookie sheets, dipped side up. Broil for 5 minutes, until the sugar has caramelized. To serve, put 3 apricot halves on each plate and pour the cherry sauce over. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Edited: October 12th, 2009