Tosca Pie ‒ Toscapiirakka

Random facts about Finnish coffee culture #13: Traditionally, food is respected with silence in Finland. Eating dinner with a Finnish family can still feel a bit awkward for someone coming from a culture of constant small talk. In coffee table however, the atmosphere is more carefree and this is actually a good place to catch up with the latest rumours. In modern business meetings people may even wait until they've all got coffee before starting the actual negotiation part.

I've always found the name tosca weird. Does it refer to Tuscany, though I haven't found any Italian recipe resembling this and it seems more like a cousin of the French classic pie tarte tatin? Or straight to the opera Tosca and its name character Floria Tosca? The recipe could very well be from 1905, the year Tosca was first performed in Finnish National Opera. But there's more to the riddle: tosca seems to be a general name for this sort of caramel topping, and oatmeal is even a more common ingredient than almond flakes. Tosca apples for example are another classic. So the crust here seems like a mere vehicle for the opera treat.

Tosca pie is often prepared with some apples or rhubarb in the crust mix. Since I'm trying to present you gouys classic versions here, I opted to enjoy rhubarb on the side. For a bit more kick though I used aromatic farin sugar in the topping instead of the regular kind. Another addition you can try is adding 2 teaspoons of cardamom to the crust part. This is another one of those whole baking sheet sized pies. If you only want a regular one, half all the ingredient amounts.

The crust:
- 5 dl wheat flour
- 3 dl sugar
- 2 dl whippable soy or oat cream
- 150 g margarine
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp vanilla sugar

The topping:
- 200 g almond flakes
- 2 dl farin sugar (or regular)
- 100 g margarine
- 0.5 dl oat or soy milk (or more cream)
- 2 tbsp wheat flour

Beat the crust sugar and the margarine until foamy. Add the cream and continue whipping. Combine the dry ingredients before adding to the mix too. Spread on a baking sheet. Pre-bake for 12 minutes in 200°C.

While the crust is in the oven prepare the topping. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Cook for about ten minutes or until the blend starts to look thick and brownish. Spread on the crust and return to oven for 10-15 more minutes.

Enjoy with coffee and some sour fruits!

Nutritional values / 1450 g:
energy 6107 kcal
fat 332 g
protein 97 g
carbohydrates 680 g
fiber 28 g


  1. how interesting that food is often eating in silence in Finland. we are so chatty during meals. If you go out to a restaurant, is everyone being quiet? Restaurants here get so noisy. This dessert looks really delicious, I love the idea of serving it with fruit.

    1. Think the culture has changed a huge deal in this regard. But Finns are still known for bigger tolerance for silence, especially between close friends, than most westerners, and this is something Aki Kaurismäki's movies for example make fun of. Here's a pretty interesting article about it: http://virtualwayfarer.com/nordic-conversations-are-different/

  2. The almond topping looks divine!

  3. That looks amazing! I would totally feel uncomfortable with silence during meals. I am okay with a lot of silence during meals, but not complete silence.


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