Sárgabarack Lekvár (Apricot Fruit Butter)

Made from just three ingredients, this fresh apricot spread is a delicious way to enjoy in-season stone fruit.

Sárgabarack Lekvár (Apricot Preserves or Apricot Fruit Butter)

Aubrie Pick

Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 50 mins
4 cups

Writer and recipe developer Sarah Copeland describes lekvár as a cross between preserves and fruit butter — spreadable, with soft chunks of fruit throughout. She serves it on palacsinta (Hungarian pancakes) and says the sweet and tangy apricot butter is also often given as a gift to dear friends and neighbors. Likening it to bringing someone an expensive bottle of wine, Copeland says lekvár is a treasured, love gift that most Hungarians know how to make, but are always touched when it’s received as a gift. Apricot lekvár holds a special memory for Copeland: When they were first dating and during the first years of marriage, she and her husband, Andre, were always sent home from a visit to Hungary with two jars of apricot lekvar made by her mother-in-law.

It begins with fresh ripe apricots, but not overly so, that cook down easily to a loose consistency that’s very chunky. Once the apricots have stewed they’re lightly mashed and pop with bright fruit flavor in this recipe. Their freshness is amplified by the sugar and a hit of lemon juice in this cross between preserves and fruit butter. Copeland describes the lekvár texture as a little bit softer than eating an extremely ripe apricot. It’s delicious on Copeland’s Hungarian pancakes, but would also be delicious on toast, on a cheese board, or anywhere else you like to serve jam.


  • 3 pounds ripe apricots (about 24 apricots) (unpeeled), halved

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Place a small plate in freezer. Stir together apricots, sugar, and lemon juice in a large heavy-bottomed pot; gently break up fruit using a potato masher.

  2. Cook apricot mixture over low, stirring often, until apricots are partially submerged in liquid, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring often, until foaming subsides and apricots are broken down into a thick, chunky mixture, 30 to 40 minutes.

  3. Remove plate from freezer. Drop a teaspoonful of lekvár onto plate to test consistency. (The apricot butter should hold its shape — about the same gel consistency as a fruit conserve or preserves, but not quite as tight as jam or jelly.) If lekvár is not ready, return plate to freezer; continue boiling lekvár 3 to 5 minutes, and test again. Remove pot from heat; let lekvár cool completely, about 2 hours. Transfer to a lidded 32-ounce jar or 2 (16-ounce) jars, and chill.

To make ahead

 Fruit butter may be stored in sealed jars in refrigerator up to 1 month.

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