There is no subtle way to say this. This cake screams Christmas.
To start with, it's gingerbread, the aroma alone of which is embedded in the definition of this holiday. That aroma, of course, is paired with an ultrarich, moist cake that is at once dense, but also light. Then there are the sugar crisp caramelized sides of the cake, which only build to the tender, sweet lemony pear slices that crown the cake.
Pair this cake with a mug of hot cocoa, coffee or (to be totally indulgent) a frothy glass of eggnog.
Lemon pear upside-down gingerbread cake
Start to finish: 1 hour 20 minutes (40 minutes active)
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
½ cup white wine
¾ cup packed light brown sugar, divided
3 large pears, peeled, cored and sliced
½ cup golden raisins
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
¾ cup sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 tablespoon dry ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt