4 tablespoons plus 8 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 cup and 1/2 cup brown sugar3 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced1 egg1/4 cup molasses1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour2 teaspoons ground ginger1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/4 teaspoon nutmeg1/4 teaspoon clovespinch salt1/3 cup boiling water
Place a 9" X 9" cake pan over medium heat and melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and stir just until the sugar melts. Add the pear slices and cook until the pears just begin to soften, 5 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 350°F. With an electric mixer, cream the remaining 8 tablespoons butter and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar until light, 3 minutes. Beat in egg and molasses until well mixed, 1 minute. In another bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Fold the sifted ingredients into creamed mixture with water, just until all ingredients are mixed. Do not overmix.
Spoon batter over pears and bake until springy to the touch, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cake cool 5 minutes and turn the cake carefully onto a serving plate. Cut into 9 squares and serve warm or room temperature.
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