Apple Nut Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Small amount of vegetable shortening and flour for preparing pan
1 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsalted butter, chilled
2 Bosc or Bartlett pears (about 2 cups), peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 9x9x2 inch square pan or 9 inch round springform pan; lightly grease the pan with shortening and dust with flour. Tip: to make baked cake easier to remove from pan, lightly grease the pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper and dust the pan with flour.
In a small mixing bowl, combine nuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1/3 cup flour and ¼ cup butter. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add ¾ cup of the topping nut mixture; stir to mix. Set aside.

Toss pears with lemon juice. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color.

With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 3 to 5 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.

Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Add the vanilla along with the last egg.

Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.

With the mixer on low speed, add about ½ of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add the sour cream, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and then add the remaining ½ flour mixture, mix just until blended, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed.

Spread two-thirds of the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the batter. Layer pears on top of the filling. Gently spread the remaining batter over the pears. Sprinkle the topping mixture over the batter.

Bake 60 minutes, or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire cooling rack for 20 minutes then remove cake from pan and finish cooling on wire rack. If pan was lined with parchment paper, grab the top edges of the parchment paper and lift cake from pan. Remove parchment paper and discard. If using a springform pan, remove pan from oven and let cool about 15 minutes. Loosen side of pan, then grabbing the top edges of the parchment paper, lift cake from pan and finish cooling on wire rack. Remove parchment paper and discard.

Reader Submitted Recipe 
Bunny's Warm Oven
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