4 or so ripe, juicy pears, peeled, cored, and cut into sixths or eighths
1 stick butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray an 8-inch (important) spring form pan with Pam.
In a large bowl cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Incorporate it into the wet mixture.
Spread the batter into the pan. Now, in a pinwheel pattern, press the slices of pear, peeled side up, into the batter. Cram in as many as you can; since the batter rises and covers the pears, there's no points given for style here. The more pears, the moister the cake will be.
Bake until a skewer comes out clean, about an hour. If you have any doubts, UNDERBAKE. This is a whole different animal if it dries out. Then it's just a cake. Correctly done, you'll love it. It's just one of those recipes that is greater than the sum of its parts. really.
Personal Note: From Chowhound Forums. Really yummy, especially when you reheat it. Light and moist and a little spongy, and delicately sweet in that wonderful pear way.