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Make the topping. Peel, core and quarter the apples, then slice each quarter into four. Heat the butter in a large frying pan. Cook the apples until golden, but still firm. Stir in the pecans and maple syrup. Heat gently for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
For the pancakes, sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Mix together the egg yolks, buttermilk and melted butter and whisk into the flour mixture until the batter is thick and smooth. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter until evenly mixed.
Heat a large frying pan, preferably non-stick, and brush lightly with melted butter. Drop 2 or 3 large spoonfuls of batter into the pan to make pancakes about 10cm in diameter. When the surface has dulled slightly and bubbles appear, after about 3-4 minutes, carefully flip the pancakes over and cook on the other side until browned.
To serve, place a spoonful of the apple mixture on a pancake, top with a second pancake and spoon over more of the topping. Repeat to make three more pancake stacks.