This fruity compote can also be served with pancakes or waffles or even as a topping for a slice of pound cake. If quinces are unavailable, substitute crisp Bosc pears. They will make a fine alternative to quinces here, and they only need to cook for 20 minutes. Be sure to taste the compote before serving; you may need to stir in a little more sugar, depending on the ripeness of the fruit.
For the Compote:
1 quince, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cinnamon stick
1/3 cup apple juice
2 Honey Crisp apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup fresh cherries
2 Tablespoons honey
Zest and the juice of 1/2 a lemon
For the Pancakes:
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter; more for serving
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
Pure maple syrup, for serving
To make the compote:To a saucepan, add the quince, sugar, salt, cinnamon stick and apple juice. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderately low heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the apples, cherries, cranberries, honey, the lemon zest and the lemon juice and cook, stirring until the fruit is tender, but not completely broken down. Cook for about 5 additional minutes and remove for the heat. Set the compote aside and let cool.
To make the pancakes: Heat the oven to 200°F. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove and set aside to cool briefly.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk gently until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated; stop before the batter is evenly moistened. Add the cooled melted butter and mix just until the batter is evenly moistened. The batter will be lumpy Let the batter rest while you heat the griddle.
Heat a griddle or a large skillet over medium heat (or set an electric griddle to 375°F) until drops of water briefly dance on the surface before evaporating. Lightly oil the griddle. Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle for each pancake, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Let cook undisturbed until bubbles rise to the surface and the edges look dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Check the underside of each pancake to make sure it’s nicely browned; then flip. Cook until the second side is nicely browned, about 1 minute more. Transfer the pancakes to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve hot fruit compote and maple syrup.
Cooked pancakes will keep, sealed in freezer bags, for up to 2 days in the refrigerator and up to 1 month in the freezer. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes.