Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 1/4- by 5 1/4- by 2 3/4-inch loaf pan.
In a saute pan over medium high heat, heat the butter and vanilla bean
pod and seeds. When the butter is melted and hot, add the pears
and cook, tossing often, about 3 minutes.
When the pears start to soften, add the honey
and continue to cook, tossing to coat and caramelize
, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer
fitted with the paddle attachment, cream
the butter and confectioners' sugar on medium speed until very light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
together all the dry ingredients. Set aside.
Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter mixture, mixing on low speed. Add the vanilla bean paste
. Dump in the sifted dry ingredients and mix for 1 minute to incorporate.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. Drain
the pears, discard the liquid and fold them into the dough
with a wooden spoon. Fold in the grated cheese.
Fill the buttered loaf pan
with the dough and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake 55 to 60 minutes (rotate the cake after 30 minutes) until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for at least 20 minutes. Unmold
and let cool completely. This pound cake
is great the same day, and amazing the next day toasted.
Store at room temperature for up to 4 or 5 days. This also freezes very well. Defrost overnight before serving.