A couple months ago, one of my room mates accidentally used a cup of salt to make apple crumble. She asked if there was any way to separate it, probably because I had recently reduced the acidity of a tomato sauce by adding baking soda. I said "probably not", but ever since then I have wondered if there is a way to get the salt out.
At this point, I would settle for a difficult method that requires a lab and ruins the dish, as long as it is still harmless to eat and retains most of it's nutritional value.
Here are some of the ideas I have thought of:
First, scrape off the oat layer, because it is the only hard solid and the salt wasn't mixed with it.
Seperate it by mass:
- The apple crumble could be puréed and spun in a centrifuge to separate the salty water, which could be poured off and replaced with sugar water.
- It could be atomized and sprayed sideways into a cold vacuum chamber, and then if the salt fell in a consistent radius around the nozzle, we could scrape up the salt, mix the rest back together and eat it.
Alter the the properties of the salt:
- Is there a way to encourage the salt to form large crystals, even when it is a relatively minor component of a complicated mixture? If so, those crystals could be filtered out of puréed apple crumble with a coarse filter.
- Are there proteins or enzymes that could break the salt apart and bind the sodium to something oily that would float up by itself, leaving the chlorine to evaporate? I saw a documentary about bull sharks which mentioned that they have a gland that can absorb salt against the salinity gradient, so that the shark can expel it's salt and move up into fresh water.
- Are there bacteria that require lots of salt to survive, and by using it, convert it into something that doesn't taste salty, and wouldn't release tons of sodium in my stomach?