Prep: 1. Preheat oven to 350. 2. Prepare round 9" springform cake pan - line bottom with parchment paper, then generously grease bottom paper plus sides and lightly dust with almond flour. 3. Core and slice pears into eighths. Zest and juice orange (you'll need 3 tablespoons juice and 2 teaspoons zest). Make: 1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together orange juice, molasses, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons butter. Cook, stirring for about 3 minutes until thick and syrupy. Add pear slices and cook another 3 minutes gently turning halfway through. 2. Gently remove pears and place in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. 3. Gently pour the syrupy liquid over the pears, careful not to dislodge your design. 4. Place pan in freezer for 5 minutes to set the top. 5. Meanwhile, whisk together the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom, and almond flour. 6. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs, orange zest, and remaining 1 1/2 cups brown sugar. You want it light and fluffy. 7. Gradually add in dry ingredients and olive oil, alternating and beating as you go, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. 8. Gently pour batter over pears. 9. Bake for 35 minutes, cake is done when top is golden and toothpick comes out clean. Serve: When cake cools, gently remove springform pan, turn cake upside down and gently remove parchment. Voila!
If you don't have cardamom on hand, cinnamon or nutmeg makes a great substitute.