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Coat a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, combine water, uncooked rice and sugar. Add apricots (or cherries), butter, vanilla and cardamom. Stir well to combine. Transfer to prepared slow cooker.
Cover and cook on Low for 4 1/2 hours (do not stir). Turn off heat; stir in yogurt. Serve warm.
Just before serving, heat cherry preserves in a small saucepan until melted (or place in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on High for 30 seconds).
Stir rice pudding before serving. Top each serving with 1 to 2 teaspoons cherry preserves. Use a knife to gently swirl the preservers into the pudding.