This is an impressive way to present pears in a cake, thanks to Carine Claudepierre from her book Clean Bakery (Bateman, 2016). Carine was inspired by a cake she saw in a French bakery, hence the amount of butter and eggs that give the cake a buttery richness but it is free of gluten and sugar. It's no. 16 of 26 alphabetical bakes!

Poached pears:
1 1/2 litres water
a whole nutmeg (or 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla pod
1 star anise
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 pears

2 cups ground almonds (I used 1/2 c almond flour, 1 1/2 c wholemeal spelt flour)
1/2 c buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
t tbsp poaching liquid
1/3 c cup honey or brown rice syrup
100g butter or coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Boil the water in a kettle then pour into a saucepan with the spices. Let them infuse while you peel the pears and then put them in the saucepan. Poach for 15-20 min until softened and you can insert a skewer into them easily. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pears and cool on a plate. Spoon 4 tbsp of the poaching liquid into a small bowl.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
Place the almond flour, buckwheat flour and baking soda in a food processor and blitz to combine. Add eggs, poaching liquid, honey, butter or oil and vanilla and mix until combined.
Pour the batter into the tin and put the cooled pears into it. Don't press them in too much, you don't want them touching the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 30-40 min until cooked through. After 20 min you may want to cover the cake with some foil to prevent burning on the top.
Leave to cool in the tin before transferring to a wire rack. The cake will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. The cake has a lovely crust and the spicy pears keep it moist.