This cake is great with whipped cream after dinner, or served on its own with breakfast, lunch or tea. You can use apples or pears for the fruit; pears are my favourite, layered in the bottom of the pan so when you flip it upside down, you’ve got this lovely fruit on top. The recipe calls for a half-cup of grated fresh ginger. I find the easiest method is to process the ginger in a food processor or blender with a tiny bit of water added, so you don’t lose any of the precious ginger juice.
Heat oven to 350°F and butter a 25 centimeter springform pan. Cream butter and sugar together for two minutes with an electric mixer, or by hand with a wooden spoon. Add molasses, ginger, eggs, vanilla and milk, and mix to combine.
Combine dry ingredients and add to butter-sugar mixture. Mix until just combined. Cover bottom of pan with a single layer of overlapping pear slices. Spread batter over fruit. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until firm to touch and a knife inserted in middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool on rack for about 15 minutes, then run a knife around the springform pan and take the outer ring off. Hold a plate tightly to top of cake, flip upside down and gently loosen it from the bottom of the springform pan with a butterknife. Remove bottom of pan and place cake on plate or platter to serve.