Heat the butter in a frying pan and add the pear quarters. Cook for 4-5 minutes until golden. Stir in the pecans and maple syrup and allow to bubble for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Sieve the flour, baking powder and caster sugar into a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Combine the egg yolks with the buttermilk in a jug, then pour into the flour mixture. Whisk until smooth, then carefully fold in the egg whites.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a large frying pan and drop in spoonfuls of batter, about 6cm in diameter. Cook for 2 minutes each side until cooked through.
Remove and keep warm. Repeat to make 12 pancakes. Serve 3 pancakes per person and spoon over the syrupy pears and pecans.