having purchased more pears than i could expect to eat before rot and flies and terror set in, a cake was made. my turbulent stomach requested something very mild so i omitted the spices that would normally be present, but i left them in the recipe description below (as always, they can be swapped out for others depending on hopes, dreams and need to camouflage the taste of poison).
first note: since this cake is dense with what can be a very wet fruit, varying the amount of other ingredients may be required.
1 cup sugar, + 2 tbsp.
2/5 lb. butter, + 1 tbsp.
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp. cardamom, or other spice
1/4 cup milk
preheat the oven to 360° f (350° f can work fine, but the extra heat helps with all the moisture).
set aside the 2 tbsp. sugar, then sift the remaining dry ingredients together.
beat the sugar (just the 1 cup) and eggs together until smooth, then slowly add in the eggs, then the milk, just until incorporated.
add the dry to the wet in three or four stages, folding in just enough to mix without beating.
peel, core and slice the pears thinly. after buttering the pan (i used a medium springform), spoon in a thin layer of batter and top with a layer of sliced pears. alternate batter and pear layers until you get annoyed with the process, but aim for at least three layers or your family will be cursed for seven generations. sprinkle the reserved sugar across the top, and use your fancy-ass rock sugars here if that's your thing.
bake on the middle rack at, again, 350° f for 50 minutes, checking it occasionally to make sure it hasn't scorched or run off. when the inserted toothpick comes out clean and dry, you can shut the heat off and let it rest in the cooling oven, or if still a bit more wet than you'd like, pop the broiler on for a few minutes, but keep an eye on it.
this cake likes a good long rest after baking, but needs no icing. it's dense, but the layering alleviates some of that. as with many sweets, a little salt sprinkled on top while eating works well.