Heat oven to 350°.
Add cold butter to a 10-inch springform
pan. Heat in oven until melted, about
3 minutes. Swirl pan to coat bottom with
melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with
Fan slices of pear over sugar, with
pointed ends toward center of pan,
overlapping slightly. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour,
ginger, baking powder, salt and
cardamom. With a stand mixer, beat
softened butter in a large bowl until
smooth. Add granulated sugar and beat
2 minutes, until creamy. Beat in eggs,
one at a time, beating well after each
addition. Beat in vanilla.
On low speed, beat in flour mixture,
alternating with milk, beginning and
ending with flour mixture. Spoon batter
over pears and spread to pan edge with
a spatula. Wrap bottom of pan with foil
and bake at 350° for 55 to 60 minutes.
Test center of cake with a toothpick;
if pick tests clean, remove to a wire rack.
Cool 5 minutes.
Invert cake onto plate; remove side of
pan. Carefully lift off pan bottom and
cool cake to room temperature. Serve
slightly warm with ice cream, if desired.