Authentic Americana and Apple Pie in the heart of Copenhagen
ALMOST TASTES LIKE HOME
Care to share a sweet slice of authentic Americana right in the middle of Copenhagen? It’s as easy as pie. Except that I had yet to try. Until yesterday, when I finally succumbed to step inside The American Pie Company in the center of the city, which has been charming locals and garnering nominations for the City’s Best (Byens Bedste) Awards since it flung open its button-cute café in 2015. What took me so long you might ask? Wouldn’t a nice piece of pumpkin, pecan or key lime pie be the perfect palliative for any potential bout of pining for home? Yer darn tootin’ it could be. However, I’ve resisted. Until now.
CAN PIE CURE HOMESICKNESS?
As an American living in Copenhagen for over three years, there are definitely things that I miss about living so far away. First and foremost, family and friends. Oregon is a LONG way away. That’s where I’m from. Pull out a map. Take a peek. As the crow flies, it’s roughly 5000 miles (or 8000 km) from Portland, Oregon to Copenhagen, Denmark. Dump in a 9-hour time zone differential and it feels further still. Ask my mom, she’ll tell you. She tells me every time we talk. I love you mom! And miss you too. The distance is vast. Especially in the grey of a Copenhagen January. But, salving with standards from an American life, like PIE, almost felt like cheating. Like I wasn’t trying hard enough to assimilate here. Or even worse, cheating on my mom’s pie. She makes darn good pie.
AS CAKE IS TO A DANE, PIE IS TO AN AMERICAN
For the most part, whilst living in Denmark, I haven’t needed to fill up on specifically American sweets and treats to stave off any nostalgia or longing for familiarity. Denmark has a plethora of options to satisfy any sweet tooth. Fredagslik anyone? Danes’ weekly Friday evening outing to the self-pick candy shop is almost too sweet for me. But my kids are big fans. And don’t forget the Danes love of all things cake. They bring it to celebrate everything. And “cake,” or kage in Danish, can take on many a connotation. From lagkage (layer cake) to flødekage (cream cake) to kanelsnegl (cinnamon snails), hindbærsnitte (raspberry slice) and kringles, bring “cake” is widely interpreted here and should always be shared. But it would never be confused with pie. Ummm. Pie. Now that is American. To me.
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AMERICAN PIE COMPANY IN COPENHAGEN
So when my mostly not American friends invited me to a group outing at The American Pie Company. I said yes. As you should do when invited. But I still had my doubts. Like I said, my mom makes darn fine pie. Fresh from the oven, oozing with tart marionberry goodness and topped with cold creamy Oregon ice cream? Oregon berry pie is the bomb. Could these pies compare? I’m here to tell you, you should avoid it no longer and it felt nothing like cheating.
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STEP INTO AN AUTHENTIC AMERICAN DINER
Step inside the cozy café on Skindergade in the old center of Copenhagen and it smacks of Americana. With the requisite stars and stripes on the wall, it’s like a kitschy little diner you might find on a cross-country road trip through one of the middle states. I know. I’ve been in many. Middle states AND diners. Old pie tins, rolling pins and quirky signs provide charming decor above vintage chairs and retro tiled floors. Mix with a dash of Danish design with a simple set up and The American Pie Company is all sorts of cute. I would even say hyggeligt. Maybe I’ve lived in Denmark too long! But so has co-founder and American Erin Eberhardt Chapman, originally hailing from Illinois and Wisconsin, who has called Copenhagen her home since 1998. Erin shares this project with fellow co-founder and Dane Dorte Prip, who herself has ties to a life and family in California. The recipe they’ve created here is a little bit of magic and feels like the real deal here in Copenhagen.
For Erin, baking pie was a way to stay connected to her American roots and abated some of her own homesickness living abroad in Denmark the past twenty years.
I realized that if I created a space that was all I loved about the USA (the nostalgia, family and food) and invited strangers (customers) in, then I would have the best of both worlds here in Copenhagen. The flag on the wall was my Grandpa’s from wartime and he was a mega-pie fan. The clippings and kitchen gear were from my great-grandmother and grandparents’ farmhouse.”
– Erin Eberhardt Chapman, co-founder The American Pie Company
It feels familiar and homey in here. It’s hard to explain. Even the scratched table tops fit with the scene. But what about the pie? It’s really all about the pie. Isn’t it?
SAVORY AND SWEET PIES
Oh the pies you ask? Don’t worry we tried them. Pies. Pies and more pies. Or slices of pie. The American Pie Company makes everything from scratch and offers both savory and sweet pies. Try a single serving chicken pot pie or a cottage pie or the pulled pork with apples pie. Chicken pot pie conjures up childhood to me and the only other American friend in our group confirmed it was delectable.
SEASONAL FLAVORS FILL THE CASE
Pie flavors at the American Pie Company change with the seasons. Today in the case, we were tempted to try one of the traditional American flavors with catchy names like “Kiss Me Quick Key Lime,” “Sky-High Lemon Meringue” or “Yo’ Mama’s Apple Cinnamon.” More inventive flavors like “The Razzle Dazzle,” a dark chocolate ganache layer topped with raspberry filling and lots of whipped cream got many takers in our group today. Other flavors included “The Grandfather,” an apple cranberry cream with crumble crust; “Daddy’s Girl,” a chocolate cream and Oreo concoction; Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownie and Deep-dished Cinnamon Bread Pie served warm with a warm Bourbon glaze. Hello. Stick a fork in me.
NOT MY MAMA’S KEY LIME PIE
As there were no berry pie options at this time of year, I opted for Key Lime. Actually, my mom doesn’t make Key Lime Pie. So that’s what I tried. I loved the crushed graham cracker crust and the slight tangy taste. Not too sweet. Just right. But if you want a ton of tang with a puffy sweet meringue pop, do the Lemon Meringue. People loved the raspberry plus chocolate in the Razzle Dazzle, a much more decadent slice. Want to take some home? Of course you do. Can’t decide? American Pie will make up a custom box of 8 different slices to please all your people. Or take home some savory pies to plop in the oven for an easy dinner tonight.
OH! And they teach pie baking classes! What a fun outing. Check website for more information. But, I will stick to sampling the slices. Having lessons from anyone but mom would really be cheating! Ha!
Skindergade 61, 1159 Copenhagen K
First Sunday of the Month 11.00-16.00
So when you find yourself in the center of Copenhagen and craving a little slice of America, make your way to the American Pie Company. You’ll be happy you did. One piece of pie = 100% happy. It’s the real deal. Cheers from Denmark!
This is not a sponsored post. It’s just that good.