These are our favorite pancakes because they are light and fluffy and have a fresh berry flavor. I learned this recipe while working for Chef Neal Fraser in Los Angeles. The secret is folding in whipped egg whites. The airy whites literally lift the batter and make the pancakes eat like fluffy clouds. This egg white technique can be applied to any pancake recipe.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the milk, sugar and vanilla until well combined. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until just combined--do not overmix; small flour lumps are okay. Gently fold in the ricotta cheese until just barely combined. Again, some ricotta clumps are okay.
In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar (if using) at medium speed until frothy. Then switch to high speed and beat until soft peaks form, 4 to 6 minutes. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter until just combined.
Heat a griddle over medium heat and give it a 3-second spray with nonstick spray to coat. Dip a 2-ounce (56-g) ladle into the batter and ladle onto the griddle. Be sure to leave enough space between the pancakes to get your spatula in there to flip. Cook over medium heat until the bottoms are golden brown and the pancakes are just beginning to set, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle each pancake with a few blueberries, pressing them in gently. Flip over and continue to cook until golden on the second side. Remove from the heat and repeat with the remaining batter. Serve with maple syrup and butter.
You can make the batter a day ahead and keep covered in the fridge. Bring the batter to room temperature before cooking the pancakes. If making a large batch, you can keep them warm in a 180-degree F (82-degree C) oven.
Reprinted with permission from "101 Epic Dishes" by Jet Tila and Ali Tila, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Ken Goodman