Preheat the oven to 175°C/Gas mark 4/350°F.
Line the tin with baking paper and set it aside.
To make the caramelised pears, simply mix the pears in lemon juice as soon as they're cut.
In a large pan, melt the butter and sprinkle half the sugar. Put the pears into the pan and let it steep for 5mins until slightly caramelised on one side. Flip them to the other side and cook further.
Carefully remove the pears from the pan and set them aside to cool slightly.
Now add the whisky to the pan with the remaining sugar and boil it until you get a syrup-like consistency.
Arrange the pears in the baking tin and pour this syrup over them. Sprinkle over some poppy seeds and set it aside.
For the sponge, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda and set it aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and whisk well. Only mix until well incorporated.
Add some poppy seeds and whisky and mix well.
Now alternately, add the flour mixture and warm milk folding both in gently.
Pour this batter onto the well-arranged pears and bake for 25mins. Reduce the oven temperature to 165°C/Gas Mark 3/325°F and bake for another 10-15mins.
Remove it from the oven and leave the cake to cool in the tin for an hour or so.
Run a knife around the edges, place a tray or cooling rack on top of the tin and carefully turn the cake upside down onto a cooling rack. Do this quickly to avoid the cake breaking or crumbling.