This strudel is frozen unbaked in four logs, then baked frozen in the foil in
which it was wrapped.
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup ( 1/2 pint) vanilla ice cream (not premium ice cream), at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 1/3 cups golden raisins
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Dough: In a medium saucepan melt the butter slowly over low heat.
Do not let it brown. Pour the butter into a large bowl. Add the ice cream and
stir until the ice cream melts. The mixture will look lumpy.
Add the flour and stir until the flour is incorporated and a very soft dough
forms. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. The chilled dough
should feel firm to the touch.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into 4 pieces. Roll
one of the pieces of dough between your hands into a smooth ball. Do this quickly
so that the dough does not soften.
Press the dough into a 1-inch-thick disk. Lightly flour a rolling surface
and roll the dough to a 12 x 6-inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Lift and
turn the dough several times as you roll it so it doesn't stick to the surface.
Filling: The long side of dough should be facing you. Leaving
a 1/2-inch edge all around, spread 2 tablespoons of the apricot preserves evenly
over the dough. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of raisins and 1/4 cup pecans. With the
long side still facing you, roll up the strudel. Press the edges and seam together
to seal tightly.
Repeat the rolling and filling with the 3 remaining pieces of dough.
To freeze: Roll each strudel strip tightly in heavy-duty foil. Freeze up
to three months.
To bake: Set the oven at 375 degrees F.
Unwrap as many strudel strips as you want to bake. Line a baking sheet with
aluminum foil from the frozen strudel. Place the strudel, seam side down, on
the baking sheet. If baking more than one strip of strudel, place the strips
2 inches apart.
Bake the strudel for 35 to 40 minutes, reversing the baking sheet from front
to back halfway through cooking to ensure even browning. The crust should be
golden brown. Let the strip cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet.
With a long wide metal spatula, transfer the strudel to a rack to cool completely.
On a board with a sharp knife, cut in a slight sawing motion on the diagonal
so make eight pieces. Wrap baked strudel with plastic wrap and store up to three
days at room temperature.