1. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. each of the butter and sugar over medium high heat until the sugar begins to turn golden.
2. Add apples; cook and stir until tender and just begin to brown, 5 to 7 min.. Remove from heat.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter an 8-inch round baking pan; lightly coat with flour.
4. Drizzle the bottom of the pan with 2 Tbsp. of the maple syrup. Arrange half of the apple slices in a circular pattern to cover the bottom.
5. In a bowl, beat remaining 1/2 c. butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs. Add flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt; beat on low speed just until combined; fold in pecans.
6. Spoon half of the batter carefully over the apple slices in the pan; smooth into an even layer; top with the remaining apple slices, and then the remaining batter.
7. Bake until the center springs back when gently pressed, about 35 min. Cool on a wire rack for 10 min.; loosen edge and invert onto a serving plate.
8. Drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp. maple syrup over top. Serve warm.
Courtesy of Chef David Guas, Ceiba Restaurant, Washington, DC
Garnish with whipped cream and dried apple slices, if desired.