For the pancakes: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Make a hole in the center of the flour mixture and add the pumpkin, ricotta, milk, vanilla and egg yolks and mix gently to combine.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites with a pinch of salt. Using a mixer or whisk, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks and look very fluffy, like snowdrifts.
Using a rubber spatula, scoop a third of the egg whites into the pumpkin batter and fold to gently combine. Repeat this process two more times until all the whites have been added. Do this gently but quickly ¿ the idea is to not squish the air out of the egg whites. This is the secret to keeping the pancakes fluffy!
Place a griddle over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, drop a pat or two of butter onto the griddle. Once melted, schmear the butter around and wipe up any excess with a paper towel.
Using a 2-ounce ladle, spoon ladlefuls of batter onto the buttered griddle to create 3-inch pancakes. Let the pancakes cook until bubbles appear on the surface, burst, and then stay open ¿ this will take about 5 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook the second side until golden brown. Re-butter the griddle and repeat until all the batter is gone or everyone is full. Hold the finished pancakes in the warm oven.
For the compote: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the apples, cider, cinnamon stick, star anise and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer (BTB, RTS), then continue cooking until the liquid has reduced by half, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the maple syrup and raisins. Simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and serve spooned over the pancakes, dusted with powdered sugar if desired. Try not to eat too many.
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