3 large firm Bosc pears, peeled and cored
Juice of 1 lemon
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
4 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 whole eggs
3 tablespoons candied ginger, finely chopped
1 3/8 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
4 1/2 tablespoons ground hazelnuts
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 1 tablespoon of hot water
1⁄3 cup sugar
1⁄3 cup water
1 pomegranate, seeded
Cut pears lengthwise into quarter-inch slices and toss in lemon juice. Pour 2 ounces of melted butter in bottom of 9- to 10-inch cake pan. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar over the butter. Place the pear slices in the butter and sugar mixture, fanning them in a circle from the center to the pan’s outside edge. Beat the remaining butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time and beat well between additions. Beat in the chopped candied ginger.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and ground ginger and fold into the creamed mixture, pulsing the machine to incorporate the flour. Combine the buttermilk, milk and baking soda. Fold the hazelnuts and wet ingredients alternately until the batter is well mixed. Scrape the batter onto the pears and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer or toothpick comes out clean.
Let cake stand for 5 minutes. Put a plate on the cake pan and flip so that the pear slices are on top. For the pomegranate sauce, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan with half of the seeds. Bring to a boil for around 5 minutes, strain. Let cool and add rest of the seeds. Garnish warm slices of cake with whipped cream and pomegranate sauce. Serves 6 to 8.