Here is a nutritious dessert with a distinct fruit flavor that you can make 24 hours in advance. The apricots provide an interesting tartness, and the oatmeal and walnuts give it a deliciously crunchy topping.

SERVES 4 TO 6

6 ripe but slightly firm pears (preferably Bosc)

ВЅ cup diced dried apricots

1 tablespoon unbleached white flour

в…“ cup honey

TOPPING

ВЅ cup rolled oats (non-instant oatmeal)

Вј cup whole wheat pastry flour (or 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour and 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour)

ВЅ teaspoon cinnamon

Вј cup firmly packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter, cut into bits

Вј cup finely chopped walnuts

Lightly sweetened whipped cream (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400В°F. Butter an 8 x 8-inch baking pan or other shallow pan of comparable size.
  2. Peel and core the pears, then slice them into bite-size pieces and put them in a medium bowl with the apricots. Add the flour and toss to coat, then pour on the honey and toss again until blended. Scrape this mixture into the prepared pan and smooth over the top.
  3. In the same bowl combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar, and mix well. Blend in the butter with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal, then stir in the walnuts. Sprinkle this crumb mixture evenly over the pears.
  4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the fruit is tender and the top is golden. Serve warm or at room temperature. It is delicious as is or with lightly sweetened whipped cream.