INGREDIENTS:

Apple Filling (Yield: 2 Cups)
2            Large apples
1/4 C      Raisin
2 T         Sugar
1            Lemon, juiced
1 T         All-purpose flour
1/4 t       Ground cinnamon

Crumble (Yield: 2 1/2 Cups)
1/2 C      Walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 C      All-purpose flour
2/3 C      Rolled oats
1/4 C      Brown sugar
1/2 ts     Ground cinnamon
1/4 ts     Salt

Rice Cake
1 C        Sweet rice flour (a.k.a. glutinous rice flour, 찹쌀 가루, chap ssal ga ru).  I used mochiko.
2 T        Sugar
1/4 t      Salt
1           Small red beet, peeled and grated
1/2 C     Water, boiling hot
2 t         Canola oil or any neutral-tasting oil
1~2       Cinnamon sticks
1 T        Pumpkin seeds, toasted
Water to boil rice cakes
Ice water to shock the rice cakes

DIRECTIONS:

Apple Filling
Peel, core and cut apples to small dice and mix in lemon juice.

Mix in with connamon powder and raisins.

Over medium-low heat, cook apple until it’s soft yet still holding its shape. Stir occasionally to make sure the bottom of the pot is not burning.

Cool to room temperature.  Set aside to use as apple gyeongdan filling or refrigerate in an airtight container for longer storage.

Crumble
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

Mix together the nuts, flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon and salt.  Gently work in cold butter into the mix until small lumps are formed. 

Put an even layer of the mix on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or silpat.

Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir to mix once or twice for even toasting during baking.

Cool to room temperature. Set aside or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Rice Cake
Mix well sweet rice flour, sugar and salt.  

Squeeze the grated beet to get 1 TBSP of juice.  Add the juice to the flour mix and discard the grated beet.

Discard 1 TBSP from 1/2 C of boiling hot water.  Add the rest of boiling water to flour and mix with a fork, then with your hand when it’s warm enough to handle.  Knead to form a smooth, slightly sticky dough, similar to playdough consistency, about 5 to 10 minutes.  If you need to add more water, add drops at a time at this point, not even spoonfuls.  

Divide the dough evenly to 16 pieces and keep them covered under a wet paper towel.

One by one, roll each piece with your hands to form a round ball.  Press with your fingers to form a pocket and add about 1 teaspoon of the apple filling.  Squeeze with one hand to close the opening without creating air bubbles, then carefully roll to shape it back to a round ball.  Keep them covered under a wet paper towel.

Fill up a pot with water, deep enough for the rice cakes to rise up when they’re cooked.  Bring up to a boil over high heat.

Add rice cakes to boiling water.  Depending on the size of the pot, do this in batches.  Do not overcrowd the pot.

When the water comes to a boil again and rice cakes rise to the surface, cook for another 3 minutes to make sure the rice cake dough is completely cooked.  

Transfer the rice cakes to ice water or at least very cold water to stop them from cooking.

Prepare a plate with any neutral-tasting oil (traditionally toasted sesame oil is used, but I find it too strong in desserts).  When the rice cakes cool to room temperature, roll them in oil to prevent them from sticking to one another.

You can serve as is.  Or for garnish, break a cinnamon stick into small pieces and insert in each gyeongdan.  Press one or two sunflower seeds to gyeongdan, next to the cinnamon stem.  Then hold the cinnamon stem and dip it in crumble.   

 

 

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