Makes 1 loaf; serves 10-12.
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup grated pears (no need to peel them), approximately 3 large pears
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a loaf pan with baking spray, and set aside.
Into a mixing bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger. Stir in the white whole wheat flour. Set aside.
In a Kitchenaid-type stand mixer, cream the shortening and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs, and stir to combine. Then, alternating a little bit at a time, add dry ingredients, buttermilk and grated pears to the batter.
Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan, and spread evenly. Bake for 45 minutes, then test with a skewer inserted into the center of the cake. If the skewer does not come out clean, return the cake to the oven for an additional 5 minutes, or until done.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool to desired serving temperature.
Serve slightly warm with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, or serve cold. (Can be frozen.)