3 cups water
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 large, uniform pears, peeled, halved, and cored
½ cup blanched almonds
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
(For people that like more ginger flavor include slices of fresh ginger in the poaching of the pears and crystalized ginger layer on top of pairs and below the batter in the dish.)
In a pan large enough to hold the pear halves in a single layer, combine the water, sugar, and lemon juice (and a few slices of fresh ginger if desired.) Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the pear halves. Simmer, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pears from the pan. Place cut side down on paper towels to drain.
Preheat over to 325 degrees. Generously butter a 9-ince round glass or ceramic baking dish. Place the pears in the dish with their cut sides down and stem ends pointing toward the center. Set aside.
In a food processor, chop the almonds with flour, baking powder, and ginger until finely ground, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the processor and set aside. Put the eggs and sugar in the bowl. Mix for 1 minute. With the machine running, add the butter and process for 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture. Process just until the flour disappears. (Scatter chopped bits of crystalized ginger over the pears in the pan.) Pour the batter evenly over the pears. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Whip the cream with the sugar. Serve the cake warm, accompanied by the cream.