In a chilled mixing bowl, combine cream and cardamom and whip until cream holds soft peaks. Refrigerate, covered.
Quarter, core, and peel pears. Cut quarters in half and sprinkle with lemon juice.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange pears in skillet and cook on one side until pears just begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add maple syrup and cook until pears are tender, about 1 minute more. Turn pears and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and allow pears to cool slightly. Transfer to bowls and serve warm, topped with whipped cream.