Combine the apricots, half the brown sugar and all the water in a pan. Slowly bring to a simmer; cook 10 minutes or until soft. Place in food processor, add 1 teaspoon vanilla essence and process until smooth.
Place the remaining brown sugar, the ground ginger, remaining vanilla and all the cream cheese in a bowl. Use electric beaters to mix thoroughly.
Crush the ginger nuts in a blender to make coarse crumbs. Combine the ginger nut crumbs and the extra 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in a small bowl.
Preheat oven to 190°C and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place the filo on a work surface and cover with a damp cloth towel. Lay 2 sheets of filo on the sheet and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugared ginger nut crumbs. Repeat the layering with more filo, butter and crumbs, reserving a little melted butter.
Spoon the cream cheese mixture down the centre of the dough in a strip 4 cm wide; stop about 2.5 cm short of the narrow ends. Spoon the apricot filling in 2 strips 4 cm wide, one on either side of the cheese.
Roll the long sides of the pastry in towards the centre until they just begin to cover the apricot. Roll the narrow sides in just to the filling; press firmly to seal. If not firmly sealed, the filo may start to unfold as it bakes. The finished size should be about 33×17 cm.
Brush the crust with the remaining butter; sprinkle chopped nuts over the filling. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until golden and crisp. In the meantime, melt the apricot preserve in 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan over low heat. Brush preserve over warm cooked pastry and sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.