- 3 ripe-firm Bartlett or Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and¬†cut lengthwise into ¬Ĺ-inch-thick slices
- 2¬Ĺ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1¬Ĺ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¬Ĺ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¬Ĺ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room¬†temperature, plus more for the baking pan
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup unsulfured (light) molasses
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
Crystallized ginger is a good way¬†to get intensely spicy flavor into baked goods. As¬†pears are also compatible with warm spices, they are¬†a natural addition to this comforting dessert. The¬†gingerbread is as versatile as it is delicious, and can be eaten out of hand for a quick snack, or gussied up¬†with warm caramel sauce and whipped cream for an¬†impressive dessert.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and¬†preheat to 350¬įF. Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.¬†Spread the pears in the pan.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, ground ginger,¬†cinnamon, cloves, and salt together. Beat the¬†butter and sugar in a large bowl with a hand-held¬†electric mixer set on high speed until the mixture is¬†pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Beat in the¬†molasses, then the eggs, one at a time.
- With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour¬†mixture in three equal additions, alternating with¬†two equal additions of the boiling water, scraping¬†down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula¬†as needed. The batter will be thin. Stir in the¬†crystallized ginger. Pour into the pan.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the¬†gingerbread comes out clean, about 35 minutes.¬†Transfer to a wire cake rack and let cool in the pan¬†until warm, about 30 minutes. Cut and serve warm,¬†turning each slice upside down so the pears are¬†visible.