Pear crumb cake from the New York Times is an easy pear cake recipe. The cake can be made one to two days ahead of time and kept wrapped at room temperature, and the recipe is flexible enough to accommodate other types of fruit.
Butter a 9-inch cake pan, then line with parchment paper and butter the paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Core and slice 2 small pears.
Melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon honey in a skillet. Add the pears, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Saute for five to seven minutes until the pears are tender.
Mix 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup dark brown sugar and 1/3 cup light brown sugar together in a bowl. Whisk in 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice and 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, then stir in 1 stick of melted unsalted butter until crumbs form. Set aside.
Whisk together 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sour cream, 3 eggs and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Add 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon baking powder to another bowl. Combine the bowl of wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, and stir until well-mixed. Add 1 stick softened unsalted butter, and stir.
Pour the batter into the parchment-lined pan and top with the cooked pears. Spoon the pears out of the pan; if any liquid remains, do not add it to the cake. Squeeze the crumb mixture into large crumbs, and sprinkle it on top of the pears.
Bake for 50 to 65 minutes, or until the center springs back when pressed. Cool on a wire rack for at least two hours before serving.