Aleksander Torte (Raspberry-Filled Pastry Strips)

To make about 4 dozen

½ pound of butter, chilled and cut into pieces or bits

3 to 3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

1 tablespoons of sugar

2 egg

1 ½ cups of (12 ounces) of raspberry preserves

2 tablespoons of softened butter

In a large mixing bowl, combine the chilled butter, 3 cups of flour and the sugar and, with your fingertips, rub until the mixture resembles flakes of coarse meal. Beat in the egg and continue to mix until the pastry is smooth. Shape it into a ball, wrap it in wax paper, and refrigerate 1 hour, or until the dough is firm.

With the back of a spoon, rub the reserves through a fine sieve set over a 1-quart saucepan, then cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they thicken into a thin purée. Set aside off the heat.

Preheat the oven to 250 deg. F. Cut the chilled dough in half and shape each half into a rectangle. One half at a time, roll the pastry between two sheets of lightly floured wax paper into a rectangle approximately 10 inches wide and 15 inches long. With a pastry brush, coat each of 2 cookie sheets with 1 tablespoon of butter and sprinkle them with flour, tipping the sheets from side to side to coat them evenly. Then invert the sheets and tap them against a hard surface to dislodge any excess flour.

After you have rolled the pastry between two sheets of wax paper in rectangles 10 x 15 inches, fold in any excess edges, cover with was paper again and roll smooth. Peel off the top sheet of wax paper and use the bottom one to lift the pastry onto a cookie sheet. Similarly roll the remaining dough and bake each separately. Spread one layer evenly with raspberry purée. Gently slide the second layer of pastry off its cookie sheet onto the raspberry-covered layer. Cover the top layer of pastry with lemon-flavored sugar icing (see below), cool, then slice into 1- to 2-inch strips. You should bake for 40 minutes, or until the pastry begins to turn a pale gold. Watch carefully for any sign of burning and regulate the heat accordingly.

3 cups of confectionery sugar

¼ cup of cold water

1 teaspoons of lemon juice

With a spoon stir the sugar, water and lemon juice together in a large mixing bowl to form a thin paste. Spread the icing smoothly over the top layer of pastry with a spatula, and set the cake aside to cool to room temperature. With a small, sharp knife or pastry wheel, slice the torte into strips 1 inch wide and 2 inches long.

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