Honey-Sweetened Apricot Lavender Butter

Written by Marisa of Food in Jars.

As a canner, I feel obligated not to play favorites when it comes to fruit. How can you possibly prefer strawberries to cherries, or like peaches more than cantaloupe? Every variety of fruit has its individual charms and each deserves its moment in the seasonal spotlight.

However, there is one I’m always most excited to see each year.


All photos by Marisa McClellan

I love their color, their flavor and the fact that they make the most amazing jam. Even a mediocre apricot sings when cooked down with sugar and a squeeze of lemon.

Recently, I found myself in the possession of a dozen rapidly ripening apricots. After working my way through 25 pounds of apricots in July, I had thought that my apricots days were done for the year.

When this installment arrived, I was flummoxed. Though I adore them, I wasn’t sure what else there was there to do with apricots that I hadn’t already done.

There was no time to waste, however. Those apricots were becoming increasingly ripe with every passing moment and being utterly unable to bear the thought of waste, I planted myself in the kitchen to search for inspiration.

A newly purchased jug of honey was on the counter and the blue glass jar of lavender buds was within easy reach. A plan was hatched: a honey-sweetened apricot butter with lavender.

Though I didn’t cook this preserve for hours like many of the butters I’ve made in the past, I call this a butter instead of a jam for two reasons:

  • One is that consistency of the final product has a thick, nearly-matte finish, which is unlike the sticky, shiny consistency of a true, sugar-sweetened jam.
  • Two, because of my choice to use honey over sugar, the flavor of the apricots and lavender stand out much more prominently than the sweet notes. Jam is typically sweet first, flavorful second.

This recipe makes just one and a half pints. I canned mine up in three squat half pint jars and I suggest you do the same. Preserves made with honey are lovely when it comes to flavor, but not so good when it comes to staying power.

Even in the refrigerator, a honey-sweetened preserve will only be able to resist the ravages of mold for two to three weeks. If you’re particularly slow at working your way through jams, keeping the open portions small helps minimize waste.

Recipe: Apricot Lavender Butter

  • 3 cups chopped apricots (about 1 1/2 pounds whole fruit)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons food grade lavender buds

Combine chopped apricots and honey in a bowl. Stir well to combine. Tie the lavender buds up in a length of cheesecloth so that none can escape and tuck it into the apricots and honey. Cover and let sit at room temperature for one hour, so that the lavender flavor can begin to infuse into the fruit.

When the time is up, taste the uncooked mixture. If you like the current level of lavender infusion, remove the packet and discard. If you want a bit more lavender flavor leave the packet in for the first 10-15 minutes of cooking.

Prior to cooking, prepare a small boiling water bath and three half pint jars. Place lids in a small pot of water and bring to the barest simmer.

Pour the fruit, honey and lavender packet into a wide, non-reactive pot. Place over high heat and cook at a boil, stirring regularly, for 15-20 minutes.

As it cooks, check the consistency regularly by sweeping your spoon through the butter and then holding it sideways over the pot. Watch how it drops off the spoon. If it looks runny, it isn’t done yet. If it looks thick and nearly spreadable, remove the pot from the heat. It is done.

Ladle butter into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.

When the time is up, remove jars from canner and place on a tea towel to cool. When jars are cool to the touch, remove rings and check seals. Sealed jars can be stored in the pantry for up to one year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.

Do you have a favorite fruit butter that emulates summer for you?

About Marisa

Marisa McClellan is a food writer, canning teacher, and dedicated small batch canner who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her jams, pickles and preserves (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first book, titled Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, is now available.

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  1. Loving all the flavors! I have to try this asap! 🙂

  2. alison @ Ingredients, Inc. says

    This sounds so delicious!

  3. I totally agree that apricots are good even when they’re mediocre 🙂 I have quite a few ‘red velvet’ apricots on hand and this would be a perfect way to use those. Thanks for a great recipe with interesting flavors.

  4. Looks and sounds delicious. I will have to make it. I have been getting apricots weekly in my fruit basket.

  5. Beautiful! I love the addition of honey and lavender, so elegant. I’m already thinking ahead to fall and looking forward to pumpkin butter! 🙂

  6. I bet this tastes as beautiful as it looks!

  7. Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies says

    Stunning. I love apricots too, but it never occurred to me to make fruit butter out of them. Holy inspiration, Batman!

  8. honey + lavender + apricots = delish!

  9. I’m so sad right now that my husband doesn’t like apricots. I guess more for me, right? 🙂

  10. Mrs. Graham Gardens says

    This is just such a yummy idea. I’ve used lavender wands in my crabapple jelly before and it really adds such a nice flavor note.

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks, Marisa!

  11. that sounds so yummy- but any way to eat lavender, I love! My sister makes a white mocha coffee with lavender- YUM!

  12. Such a gorgeous butter!

  13. Oh my! This sounds so tasty.

  14. This looks completely fantastic – great use of all these Okanagan apricots!

  15. I’ve never canned before, but have heard it really is easy. This sounds like such an elegant flavor combo Hallie!

    • It’s really quite easy. What’s more, this recipe doesn’t make all that much, so you could skip the processing step and simply keep it in the fridge.

  16. Oops, I meant Marisa! Sorry, I always mix up names with you two due to the similar blog names and themes 🙂 A big fan of both!

  17. A beautiful butter. I tend to get stuck making pumpkin and apple butter but I think I would much prefer an apricot butter.

  18. I never quite know what to do with lavender in the kitchen. What a lovely way to enjoy it.

  19. I do not have the patience to make this but it looks like it is going to taste delicious.

  20. This is a fabulous idea – I’m going to give it a try, on a much larger scale, next summer. It will give me a little variety from the 30ish pints of peach butter I do a year.

    -the redhead-

  21. Such a gorgeous recipe!

  22. This sounds so wonderful! How do you know if lavender is “food grade”? I have lavender in my garden I would like to use. Thanks!

    • Some varieties of lavender that you buy haven’t been handled or treated for use in food. That’s why I specified food grade. However, you can safely use the lavender out of your garden without issue.

  23. Made my first batch of this little gem a few days ago. It made 2 – 250ml (half pint jars) and it was quick and easy! We cracked open the first jar almost right away and it tastes AMAZING! So good infact..i am whipping up a second batch today. I found a jar of lavender flower honey at the grocery store..so i am trying that with this batch!

  24. Hi Marisa! This recipe looks great — I plan to try it today. Question: What else have you done with apricots? We have a tree in our backyard with literally hundreds of apricots and I’m not sure what to do with it all! Thanks! Erin

  25. What about acid? Is there enough in the fruit to render this safe for canning? I made it tonight, but added the juice of a lemon because I was concerned about safety once sealed.

  26. Nicole Callen says

    So excited to find this as I have been given a bowl of apricots and I own a lavender farm. Can’t wait to post this for my followers. My favorite culinary lavender is Royal Velvet and it tastes delicious in this recipe. You can’t just eat any lavender, make sure it is a culinary variety or your honey butter will not taste very good. There are many lavender farms around the United States that sell culinary grade lavender including ours.

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