Butter and line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
Heat butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon until bubbling. Pour into pan and swirl to coat.
Peel pears and cut into eighths lengthwise and place in a small pot. Cover with wine, water and sugar.
Peel ginger and slice into large pieces. Place in pot, cover pears with a piece of parchment and bring up to a simmer. Turn heat down slightly and cook until pears are tender, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, drain and arrange pears, small points in the center around the pan.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cream together butter and sugar. Separately combine baking soda and molasses.
In another bowl, sift flour with baking powder, spices, and salt. Stir molasses into butter mixture. Add flour mixture and boiling water alternately, mixing well after each addition. Beat in egg and stir in crystallized ginger.
Scrape batter over pears and spread gently to level. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.
Undo springform pan and peel off parchment. If cake has risen in the center, you can trim off a bit, so that it sits flat on the plate. Turn cake onto serving plate and peel parchment off the top. Serve warm or at room temperature.