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Can I Put a Dessert Back in the Oven to Finish Baking if it is Under-done?

Jennifer says: I bake all the time and love doing it!  I always follow a recipe to the “T”, but today I decided to combine 3 different parts of 3 recipes into one!  I made blueberry crumble bars in a 9×13 Pyrex pan, and after they cooled completely, I cut into them–only to find that the bottom crust was undercooked and still soft, even though the top crumble crust and sides (up the sides of the pan part way up from the bottom crust) were beautifully browned and crisp like they should be.

 Question…Can I pop the whole pan back in the oven to bake some more to crisp up the bottom crust?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I’ve never been in this situation before!

Baking S.O.S. says: I have had the same problem with other types of baked goods.  It is always a challenge to try to put something back into the oven to finish baking it after it has cooled completely.

The problem becomes that the baked good needs to heat all the way back up to the proper baking temperature all the way throughout before it can continue baking–the underdone parts–further.

So in essence what happens is all the other parts that are baked perfectly will then over-bake and dry out before the under-baked part finally bakes all the way through.

It is possible to do this, but the results will be less than desirable.  And it will take much longer to bake the dessert all the way through than you would expect it to–again, this is because the entire dessert has to come back up to full baking temperature internally.  (Essentially, you will have a “twice-baked” dessert!)

From your description, it sounds like this dessert has a bottom crust that is separate from the filling and the crumble topping.  Is that correct?  If so, this is what I would suggest the next time you attempt this recipe:

Partially bake the bottom crust layer on it’s own before adding the filling and the topping.  Many recipes that call for a bottom crust layer will give instructions to par-bake the bottom layer for about 10 minutes before adding the other toppings.  This will help ensure that the bottom crust is completely done when the top layers are done, as well.

I hope that helps.  Good luck!

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