Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease a shallow, round ovenproof dish with half the butter and sprinkle the caster sugar evenly over the top to coat the butter.
Peel and halve the pears, then cut lengthways into slices about 1cm thick. Arrange the slices in a single, overlapping layer in the bottom of the dish.
Mix the wine or orange juice with the apricot jam or honey and pour the mixture over the pears.
Coarsely crush the Amaretti biscuits with a rolling pin or finely chop the almonds. Sprinkle over the pears. Dot the remaining butter evenly over the pears. Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, until the pears have softened and the biscuits or almonds are lightly browned. Serve with cream or yoghurt.
For a faster dessert, substitute eight canned pear halves for the fresh pears, sliced or left whole, and mix 2 tablespoons juice from the can with 2 tablespoons orange juice to replace the white wine. Bake for about 10 minutes to heat through and lightly brown the top.