Monica Buck
MAKES: 10 to 12 servings

Make this delicious dessert when pears are at their best.

How to Make It

Step 1

Lightly butter a 9-inch cheesecake pan with removable rim at least 2 1/2 inches tall. Line pan with a 10-inch round of cooking parchment, pressing into bottom and about 1/2 inch up sides. Cut 2 tablespoons butter into about 1/4-inch chunks and drop evenly over parchment in pan bottom. Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 cup brown sugar and the crystallized ginger.

Step 2

Peel pears and cut in half lengthwise, then, slicing parallel to cut edge, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. With a small knife, cut core from each slice. Arrange slices flat, in a single layer, over sugar mixture in pan, trimming pieces as needed to fit.

Step 3

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and allspice.

Step 4

In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat 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. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, beating until incorporated, then beat on high speed just until well blended. Pour batter over pears.

Step 5

Bake in a 325° regular or 300° convection oven until a toothpick inserted in center (not in fruit) comes out clean, 1 hour and 35 to 40 minutes (cake center may settle slightly). Let cool in pan on a rack about 20 minutes. Remove pan sides. Invert a platter over cake, then, holding the two together, invert again. Carefully remove pan bottom and parchment. Serve warm.

Ratings & Reviews

Kathy415's Review

December 07, 2013
So good, I made it twice in 2 weeks. Fabulous!

stimply's Review

December 28, 2011
I really liked this but my extended family weren't as pleased. Those who aren't accustomed to stronger spices and tastes like ginger did not like it. It definitely seemed to run along the lines of who experiments with different flavors and who are just meat/potato folks. I would certainly make this again but would consider the people eating it.

KarenChatham's Review

November 01, 2011
This cake is so YUMMY and easy to make! Served by itself or with ice cream it's great.

bellcomstock's Review

December 08, 2008
Wow! This was delicious, and very pretty. Dense, moist, spicy gingerbread, and the pears were caremalized and glossy. Several guests asked for the recipe (the highest possible praise!).

mancanbake2's Review

November 26, 2008
I have made this every holiday for the last two years and it always gets raved about. I use whole whipping cream with a dash of sugar and smigden of vanilla, hand whisked in a frozen stainless steel bowl, is well worth the effort. This year I will be making two.

nydessa's Review

November 16, 2008
My guests and I really enjoyed this cake. I served it with some ice cream. I was really looking forward to eating the left overs but a few people asked for a slice to take home and that left me with the tiniest piece. I'm definitely making this one again.