These are traditional in the Ford family at Christmas and Thanksgiving. The origin has been lost, but it has been around for 3 or 4 generations. Some think it is like Russian pastries, some think it is British. My mother-in-law, Thelma Ford, was the expert maker of these. She used the old fashioned grinder to feed the raisins through. You can use your food processor and process with the sugar before putting them in the saucepan to boil with the water and cornstarch. Thelma doubled the recipe and made them very thin in a 10x15 jely roll pan. The juice bubbled through the top.
Bring ground raisins, 3/4 cup sugar, water and cornstarch to a boil, stirring to keep from sticking. Add cup of nuts and grated orange peel. Setaside to cool slightly.
Mix together flour and shortening (which can be half butter or mayonaise), and salt, stirring until crumbly. Add water to make dough, using a little more water if needed.
Roll half dough, place into square 9 inch pan, spread with filling. Cover with the other half rolled very thin and placed on top. Prick all over with fork. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 425 degrees F. until lightly browned. If your over is too hot try 400 degrees F.
Cool completely (if you can!) and cut with with knife into bars. Keeps for 2 days without refrigeration.