I finally made this last night. The cake/tart was a hit at an office party we brought it to this morning. The taste and texture is basically of a rich buttery pound cake with pears embedded as jewels of flavor.
I didn't have a springform pan, so I just used a 8-inch non-stick cake pan. After cooling and running a skewer around the side to loosen, I turned it upside down onto a sheet of aluminum foil and whacked the bottom of the pan. It slid out entirely in one piece except for one nickel sized spot that stuck. No problem, since I then flipped it over again, by sliding the foil onto another plate, and then flipped the whole thing onto my serving tray - the top of the tart still looked perfect.