For fresh cherries, pit over a bowl to catch any juices. (If using frozen fruit, thaw but do not drain.) In a large saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in cherries and 2 tablespoons reserved cherry liquid or water. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Turn into a 2-quart square baking dish; set aside.
For topping, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, and spice. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in coconut and nuts. Sprinkle topping over filling. Bake in a 375 degree F. oven about 25 minutes or until golden. Serve warm with ice cream or light cream, if desired. Makes 6 servings.