1. Prepare the pork and brine. In a large saucepan or stockpot, combine salt and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When salt has dissolved, remove from heat and add peppercorns, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 cups apple cider, and 1/2 cup maple syrup. Steep 10 minutes. Add ice and stir until mixture is cool and ice is melted.
2. Place pork chops in a large resealable bag and pour brine over them. Seal bag, place it in a bowl or pan to catch any leaks, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 400degreesF. Drain the pork, discard the brine, and rinse well undercold running water. Pat dry with paper towels.
4. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chops andbrown one side, about 2 minutes. Turn chops and transfer skillet to the oven.Cook until pork is still slightly pink inside, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove chops to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
5. While the pork cooks, prepare the compote. Heat 1 cup cider in a microwave-safebowl or in a small saucepan until very hot. Remove from heat and add cranberries. Set aside 5 minutes for cranberries to plump.
6. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add apples, pears, and 2 cinnamon sticks and cook, stirring occasionally, until fruit is browned slightly and softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp. maple syrup, cider, and cranberries, increase heat to high, and cook until the liquid is mostly gone and apples and pears are glazed, 4 to 6 minutes. Spoon compote over pork, and serve immediately.
Source: Fresh Magazine September, October 2010