1. Stir together sugar and cornstarch in a medium skillet. Add pears and next 3 ingredients, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, 8 to 12 minutes or until pears are tender. Stir in butter.
Warm Cinnamon-Apple Topping: Substitute 4 peeled and coarsely chopped Granny Smith apples for pears, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg for ground ginger, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract for 1/4 tsp. almond extract. Proceed with recipe as directed.
Warm Two-Berry Topping: Substitute granulated sugar for brown sugar, 1 1/2 cups each of frozen cranberries and frozen blueberries for pears, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract for 1/4 tsp. almond extract. Omit ginger and cornstarch. Proceed with recipe as directed, simmering berries 7 minutes or until thickened. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Prep: 15 min., Cook: 8 min.