When friends of mine welcomed the arrival of a new baby recently, I wanted to take them something familiar and comforting. I pictured something homey, with cinnamon and spice flavors and recalled this recipe for pear crumb cake. Melissa Clark, whose recipes in the New York Times I adore, suggested that it would make a great hostess gift and I wholeheartedly agree.
I adapted the recipe into mini cakes using an oversized muffin pan, which the original recipe filled perfectly. To give them a rustic look I used folded squares of parchment paper to line the muffin tin but working with them was tricky and frustrating. Save yourself the hassle and go with regular liners instead. I cut the cooking time down slightly to account for the smaller cake size, and started checking for doneness around 45 minutes.
The result was yummy, crumbly goodness that could easily be shared.