Line a 9-inch cake tin with a removable bottom, with parchment and lightly grease the sides.
Preheat the oven to 180℃.
Cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon till light and fluffy (about 2 mins).
Mix in the vanilla extract and brandy (if using) and whisk in 1 yolk at a time to get a thick mixture.
Stir the salt into the almond flour and add the flour to the wet batter. Mix well.
In a separate, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until you get soft peaks. The whites should not be over-whisked lest they become dry.
Gentle fold in the egg whites in 3 batches so that the batter retains its volume.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and arrange the pear wedges in a circle, cut side facing down. Ensure that the space between the fruit wedges is evenly distributed.
Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is nicely browned and yields a clean toothpick when tested.
Cool the cake in the tin for 15 minutes before gently transferring it to a rack to cool.