This cake is a nice change from the usual pumpkin pie or plain gingerbread. It is also an attractive dessert to bring to a family dinner or any get-together, really. I found this recipe online, and it said it was originally taken from Sunset magazine. Update: After storing leftovers in the fridge, the cake texture becomes really dense. I am not sure if it NEEDS to be stored in the fridge, but this cake is best eaten on the day it is made (in our [my husband's and my] opinion).
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 1⁄2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
- 3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, chopped
- 1 lb pear (2 pears, Bosc type are recommended)
- 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon allspice
- 2 large eggs
- 3⁄4 cup molasses
- 1 1⁄4 cups buttermilk
- First, prepare the pan. Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray, Line the pan with a 10-inch round of cooking parchment, pressing into the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the sides.
- Cut 2 tablespoons of butter into about 1/4-inch chunks and drop evenly over the parchment in the pan bottom. Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 cup brown sugar and the crystallized ginger.
- Peel the pears and cut in half, lengthwise. Then, slicing perpendicular to the cut edge, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. With a paring knife, cut the core from each slice. Arrange the slices flat, in a single layer, over the sugar mixture in the pan, trimming pieces as needed to fit.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and allspice.
- In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the remaining 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup brown sugar until well blended.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to medium-low and beat in molasses.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, beating until incorporated, then beat on high speed just until well blended. Pour batter over pears.
- Bake at 325 degrees F until a toothpick inserted in the center (but not in the fruit) comes out clean, about 1 hour and 35 to 40 minutes (cake center may settle slightly).
- Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan sides. Place a platter over the cake, then, holding the two together, turn both over, so the cake is right-side up. Carefully remove pan bottom and parchment. Serve warm.