Add wine, brown sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, and lemon peel to a saucepan wide enough to hold three pears on their sides. Give a quick stir and bring to a boil on high heat.
Reduce to a simmer for five minutes.
Peel pears and slice off the bottoms of the pears to create flat surfaces, allowing the pears to stand upright.
Use a melon baller to scoop out the seeds from the bottoms of the pears.
Place pears on their sides in the saucepan and cover for five minutes.
Flip them, cover, and simmer for another five minutes.
Flip back, cover, and simmer for another five minutes.
Flip a final time, remove the saucepan from the heat, and keep pears covered until ready to use, at least five minutes. If you work on the cake batter while you are making the pears, the batter should be done about the same time as the pears.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Mix in honey and butter until fully combined.
In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract.
Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined.
Line a 9" x 5" loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a little bit of overhang to help you easily pull the cake out of the pan when it is done.
Pour batter into the parchment-lined pan.
Place the 1/2 cup of extra flour into a small bowl.
Use tongs to remove the hot poached pears from the poaching liquid.
One at a time, dunk the bottoms of the poached pears into the flour bowl, letting the flour come just a little bit up the side of the pear. Insert the floured pears into the cake batter, standing them up with their stems sticking out the batter.
Sprinkle sliced almonds over the top of the batter.
Bake for 40 minutes. Use a long wooden skewer or cake tester to test for doneness at the center of the cake near the middle pear. This area takes the longest to cook. Depending on how hot, moist, and large the pears are, the cook time can vary. If the batter is still raw (skewer came out wet), cover the edges of the cake in foil to prevent burning and continue to bake for another ten minutes before testing again. Repeat in ten minute increments until the cake is done.
Use overhanging parchment to lift cake out of the pan and onto a cooling rack.
Cool for at least one hour and dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Bring to room temperature before serving.