By Dianne Bunis

Each holiday, a gift box of pears arrives lasting through a good part of January and while delicious right out of the box, they begged to be made into a warm crumble, perfect for a cold winter's night. Easy to make, comforting to eat and healthy for your heart, this crumble boasts high fiber, low sodium and because it's low in saturated fat, it's low cholesterol. What more could you ask for in a dessert? Keeping it healthy -- top it with a scoop of vanilla gelato.


4 ripe but firm Anjou pears, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 raisins (optional)

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp minced crystallized ginger


1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

5 tbsp canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine oats, walnuts, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Drizzle with oil and stir until evenly moist, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine pears, maple syrup, raisins, flour, lemon juice and ginger and mix well. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Sprinkle the topping over the pears.

Bake the crumble until the pears are tender and the topping is golden, 45-50 minutes. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.