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26Jan/1523

Cryofiltration: Perfectly Clear Juice from Fruits and Veggies

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Crystal clear and flavorful tomato water? Transparent gazpacho? Pepper water? Clear apple juice that doesn’t oxidize? Perfectly clear consommé with almost no effort? Cryofiltration sounds complicated but it is very easy and it does not require any expensive equipment. And the best part? The results are amazing with almost any broths, fruits and veggies. And because it does not require any heating at all, it preserves the original flavor and aromas of the preparation.

I've tried several methods to filter liquids including micro bags and expensive filters but when Chef Jordi Cruz told me about cryofiltration, I couldn't believe how well it worked. Sometimes the most simple techniques produce the best results.

Tomato water clarified with cryofiltration

 

Jordi Cruz, chef at 2 Michelin Star restaurant ABaC, loves consommés. In his own words, “I am a very liquid chef. I really like making good consommés, broth and sauces.” In his never-ending search for ways to explore flavors and ingredients, he decided to freeze some goat juices in ice cream buckets then thawed them in the fridge. He noticed that it separated into two parts; one cloudy and one extremely clear. This gave him the idea to try it with broths and other liquids.

Cryofiltration simply involves freezing your product, (you can do it with just about anything – broths, fruits, veggies, anything) then defrosting it in the fridge by placing it on a filter or cheesecloth with a container underneath so that as it defrosts, the liquid seeps through the filter and the more solid parts stay on top.  This is actually the process that he uses to create the mushroom broth in one of the dishes that we tried, his Liquid Parmesan Gnocchi and Mushroom Infusion.

"We created a mushroom juice with fresh mushrooms, chicken stock, butter and cream resulting in a very flavorful mushroom cream. When we froze it and let it thaw over a cloth with about 400 microns, we obtained a very nice and clear mushroom consommé. This is what we now use in the Parmesan Gnocchi." Chef Jordi says with passion.

This cryofiltering technique is also great to make apple juice that doesn’t oxidize, according to Chef Jordi. He told us to freeze green apple cut in pieces and thaw it using this method. He has tried cryofiltering everything but has kept what he liked the most such as this mushroom consommé, grape juice with Kefir, gazpacho and pepper water.

For cryofiltration we find it very convenient to use a perforated steam table pan lined with 4 layers of cheesecloth. We used this technique to make tomato water and the results were much better than using micro-bags and expensive filters. The result: crystal clear tomato water with impressive flavor and aromas of fresh tomatoes. You can use this tomato water to make tomato foam, tomato water spheres or just as a cold consommé that can be added to an appetizer for example.

Tomato water clarified with cryofiltration: perforated steam pan

Tomato water clarified with cryofiltration - perforated pan with cheesecloth

Ingredients for Tomato Water

- 3 kg (6lb) tomatoes, peeled and seeded, blend

Preparation

Tomato Water using Cryofiltration

1- Peel tomatoes and remove seeds. To peel tomatoes remove the stem and carefully make a couple of cuts to the skin originating from the end where you removed the stem. Place them in boiling water for 10 to 15 seconds and transfer them to a recipient with ice cold water. Wait for a couple of minutes and then you should be able to peel the skin very easily with your hands. Remove the seeds.

2- Cut the tomatoes in small pieces and blend.

3- Place the tomato puree in a flat container in the freezer. Make sure it fits in the perforated steam pan. You are then going to unmold the frozen liquid and place it in the perforated steam pan.

4- Line a perforated steam table pan with 4 layers of cheesecloth and place it inside a non-perforated steam table pan of the same size.

5- Remove the frozen tomato puree from container, place it over the cheesecloth and store it in the fridge for 24 hours.

6- Collect the clear tomato water from the bottom steam table pan.

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  • Karen Morley

    this is brilliant!

  • chefsimonfurley

    heston blumenthal came up with this method around 15 years ago and won many awards for the science behind it….do your home work …

    • QuantumChef

      I’ve heard about doing it with stock which contains gelatin (gelatin filtration) but not with fruits and vegetables. Was he doing it with fresh juices too?

    • Cheryl

      Wow. Rude much. I also remember Heston’s method, but only with stocks.

    • Entropy Designs

      It was also done for many decades using gelatin from bone stock, the gelatin forming a tight matrix that prevents much of the color and cloudiness from leaking out. No need to be rude about it, Heston didn’t invent it either.

    • Lee S-M

      seems you’re not as well informed as you thought chef Simon Furley
      Time to re-visit the books?

  • ReluctantChef

    Where can one get a pan set like that? I’ve tried Amazon and Chefs Pantry and can not find a similar set.

  • Susann Edmonds

    Also known as freeze thaw method. Works well. I accidentally discovered this when freezing some fruit so as not to waste it, a few years ago.

  • Shaun byers

    Quantum chef, what happened to the recipe for the liquid Parmesan gnocchi and mushroom infusion, I wanted to make it for ages and finally got everything and the recipe is gone?

    • QuantumChef

      We are having a technical issue with all recipes under spherification. We are hoping to resolve the issue shortly.

  • http://plu.sx Carlos Augusto

    test

  • Ome Nicoot

    This is fantastic!y

    How long will I be able to store the juice? I keep it in a closed glass bottle.

    • QuantumChef

      A couple of days in the fridge in most cases.

  • Ádám Pallér

    Does it matter how quick the tomatos are frozen? Fortunately I have access to liquid Nitrogen, dry-ice and ultra deep freezers (-80C). Have you tried to make fruit wine from a juice made like this? And the last one: Do you have any experience with fruits with high starch content to make this kind of juice from them?

    • QuantumChef

      Great questions! How quick you freeze it doesn’t matter. Haven’t tried making fruit wine. Also, I haven’t used this method with starchy fruits but I think that to make it work effectively you may have to add some enzymes first.

      • Tom Zyankali

        2g/l pectiinase always do a good job and reduces the amount of pulp massivly, most of the top in a bottle gets clear and esily to siphon off and only a small amount needs further treatment

  • James Alexander

    Anyone know the average yield of the 3kg?

  • Alex

    Hi,
    If you don’t mind me asking, how does this compare to the similar method using added gelatin/agar agar your site mentions? This method seems more convenient since you don’t need to add anything, but I wonder whenever the methods are nearly equivalent or the agar agar one is able to filter stuff the other method cannot.

    Also, If you don’t know that’s fine but can pectin have somewhat of a similar effect? Tomatoes and apples already contains some i think.

    • Susann Edmonds

      Alex, this is also known as Freeze/Thaw method. Not really sure why this works, I’m guessing it’s because the liquid would thaw first. Then drain. If you add anything like agar agar, it wouldn’t allow it to separately thaw. This works on all fruit and vegetables. Use this method constantly.