1.Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F. Grease and line a 24cm (9½-inch) round cake pan.
2.Make orange cinnamon syrup. Place ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer over medium heat 3 minutes or until thickened slightly. Cool.
3.Peel and core pears; cut each into eight wedges. Arrange pear in a decorative pattern on base of cake pan; pour syrup over pears.
4.Beat sugar, oil, rind, ginger and eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Gently add combined sifted flour and baking powder, then milk. Carefully pour batter over pears.
5.Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180°C/350°F; bake a further 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool cake completely in the pan before carefully turning out onto a platter.
The best pear varieties for baking are Williams and buerre bosc, as both hold their shape during cooking. Williams pears arrive in autumn, while buerre bosc pears are in season from mid-autumn, through winter and into early spring.