How to Freeze Kumquats

Written By Acacia Crossley


Kumquats may taste just like any other orange citrus fruit, but the edible kumquat skin is where the real party is. 

Outside of kumquat season (January – June), kumquats are practically impossible to find in the supermarket. If you are a lover of kumquats, you should buy extra to freeze! 

To freeze kumquats, you can freeze whole kumquats in syrup, or you can freeze sliced kumquats in freezer-safe airtight containers.

How to Freeze Kumquats

How you choose to freeze your fresh kumquats will depend entirely on how you plan to use the kumquats in the future. 

Some methods are better suited only for kumquat juice, while others better retain the whole kumquat flavour:

How to Freeze Whole Kumquats

Whole kumquats freeze much better when they are preserved in sugar syrup. 

Of course, this makes the kumquats much sweeter when you are ready to defrost them. However, the fruit will not lose its flavour as quickly when frozen: 

  1. Wash The Fruit
    Scrub your kumquats under cold water to remove any leftover pesticide or dirt. Pat them dry. 
  2. Make A Syrup 
    Combine 2 parts water and 1 part sugar in a low-heated saucepan and bring the mixture to a low boil until all of the sugar is dissolved. 
  3. Leave To Cool 
    Allow the syrup to reach room temperature to prevent accidentally cooking your fresh kumquats. 
  4. Add The Kumquats 
    Add the whole kumquats to the cooled pan and use a spoon or ladle to completely cover the kumquats in the syrup. 
  5. Properly Store
    Transfer the syrupy kumquats to an airtight container. Pour in any leftover syrup, filling the container to around an inch from the top. 
  6. Freeze
    Seal the container shut tight and put the kumquats away to freeze for up to 12 months. 
How Do You Defrost Whole Kumquats?

Pull the kumquat container out of your freezer at least 5 or so hours before you are ready to eat them. Put the kumquats in your fridge to defrost naturally until soft enough to eat. The leftover sugar syrup can be used to flavour drinks or baked goods. 

How to Freeze Sliced Kumquats

Slicing your kumquat in advance means you can defrost a few slices at a time for fresh tasting, incredibly juicy kumquat juice whenever you feel like it. 

Keep in mind that the texture of the kumquats will be affected when frozen as slices. Only follow this method if you plan on using your frozen kumquats to make kumquat juice: 

  1. Wash The Fruit 
    Before you prepare the kumquats for freezing, give the fruit a good wash under cold water. 
  2. Dry 
    It doesn’t matter much if you freeze sliced kumquats while they are still a little wet, but pat off most excess water with a cloth or kitchen roll to prevent unnecessary freezer burn. 
  3. Half It
    Take your kumquats and use a sharpened knife to chop them in half. 
Kumquat Half
  1. De-seed 
    You do not want to freeze sliced kumquats still full of seeds as they will be a nightmare to juice. Take time to pick out the seeds of your kumquats. 
  2. Store In Containers 
    Once you have removed the seeds from all of the kumquats, stack them in an airtight container. 
  3. Freeze 
    Seal the container and place it in your freezer. Sliced kumquats are fine to freeze for up to 8 months but will start to lose their flavour after 6 months.
How Do You Defrost Sliced Kumquats?

Let your slice kumquats defrost in the fridge for an hour or two before you juice them. They do not need to be fully defrosted to juice them. They just need to be soft enough to juice. 

How to Freeze Kumquat Syrup

One of the most common ways to consume kumquats is by making citrusy kumquat syrup. This syrup can be frozen too:

  1. Wash The Fruit 
    Before turning the kumquats into syrup, wash them under cold water to remove any leftover dirt. 
  2. Slice and Deseed
    Cut up the kumquats into halves and remove their seeds. 
  3. Make A Simple Syrup 
    Combine water and sugar at a 2:1 ratio in a hot pan. Leave the mixture to boil on low heat until all of the sugar has dissolved. 
  4. Add The Kumquats
    Add all your kumquats into the simple syrup and mash them into the hot syrup using a potato masher. Then allow the syrup to boil again. 
  5. Leave To Cool 
    Once the syrup has begun to boil again, take the pan off the heat and leave the syrup to cool to at least room temperature. 
  6. Strain 
    Take a sieve or a strainer and strain the syrup directly into an airtight container. 
  7. Freeze
    Seal up the container and put it in your freezer to freeze for up to 6 months. 
How Do You Defrost Kumquat Syrup?

To defrost your kumquat syrup, leave it in your fridge to defrost for an hour or so. Then add the syrup to a pan to thaw and thicken up again. Leave to cool before using it. 

How to Freeze Kumquats Successfully

Regardless of how you choose to freeze your kumquats, here are a few tips to keep in mind for a successful freeze: 

  • Container Or Bag? – Storing your whole or sliced kumquats in an airtight container is a much safer option than keeping them in and freezer bag. This will prevent them from being squashed before they are fully frozen. 
  • Don’t Wait Too Long To Freeze Them – If you try to freeze kumquats that have already started to go bad in your fruit bowl, they will continue to decay in your freezer.
  • They Won’t Last Forever! – Kumquats can sometimes last in your freezer for up to a year. However, after around 6 months, the kumquats will lose their flavour and texture. 

Do Kumquats Freeze Well?

Kumquats will freeze well using any of the methods listed above. The kumquat flavour will be best preserved when frozen whole and in simple sugar syrup. 

Freezing Kumquats FAQs

If you have further questions about freezing kumquats then these FAQs might be of use:

Can You Freeze Kumquat Zest?

Yes, kumquat peel can be frozen in freezer bags. Remove the peel from the kumquats then slice into strips. Coat in a small sprinkling of corn flour and then pop them into a bag.

Can You Freeze Kumquat Puree?

Kumquat puree can be frozen in an ice cube tray. Pop the puree into an ice cube tray to freeze. Once solid, pop the cubes out of the tray and into a freezer bag.

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