1. Bring the sugar, water and lemon zest to a boil over high heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. This will extract flavor from the peel, dissolve the sugar and make a syrup.
2. Add the fruit and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, until just tender.
3. Remove the fruit from the juice and set aside. Discard the lemon zest.
4. Reduce the juice over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until it becomes syrupy. Pour the syrup over the fruit, set aside and keep warm.
For the buttermilk griddle cakes:
5. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. (This can be done the night before and kept covered on the counter.)
6. Lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, butter and honey together.
7. Add the liquid ingredients all at once to the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until just moistened. Do not overmix, a few lumps are fine.
8. Warm a lightly greased griddle pan over medium heat. The pan is ready when a few drops of water sprinkled on the griddle form fast-moving bubbles.
9. Pour batter onto the griddle: 1/8 cup for small or 1/4 cup for large pancakes. When the tops of the pancakes are covered with holes and the bottoms are golden brown, flip to brown the other side.
10. Serve the griddle cakes topped with the nectarine compote.