All Things Apples

How to use everyone’s favorite seasonal fruit, the apple, during fall parties.

By Savannah Waszczuk Photos by Kevin O’Riley

Sep 2013


Fall is almost here, and many of us will be opening our homes for seasonal gatherings and dinner parties. We talked to Martha Wright of Gracious Occasions (Springfield, 417-889-6655) and Lenette Kujawa of Aflair Events (Springfield, 417-861-2873) about how to use everyone’s favorite seasonal fruit, the apple, during fall parties. 

Apple Pie:

In addition to displaying your apple pie on the dessert table, Kujawa suggests tying in a fall theme with a centerpiece, such as a miniature apple tree. “I wrapped the base with burlap and red burlap,” Kujawa says. You can serve your pie with a variety of accompaniments, such as vanilla ice cream, whipped topping or homemade whipping cream and even cheddar cheese.

Display by Lenette Kujawa of Aflair Events


A Classier Take on Dessert:

While apple pie is comforting and perfect for casual affairs, Lenette Kujawa of Aflair Events suggests serving apple tartes at more formal events. The tartes still pack delicious appley goodness, but they’re more elegant in appearance. If you’re hosting a smaller party, consider making individual tartlettes.


Bobbing for Apples:

An inexpensive-yet-fun way to entertain kids at a gathering is bobbing for apples. In order to make the game a bit easier for the little ones, consider propping the tub. “We elevated it on buckets, then hid those with a tablecloth,” Wright says. To help the game tie into your party’s décor, consider tying burlap or a colored bandana on the side of the tub.

Display by Martha Wright of Gracious Occasions


Up in the Air:

Rather than bobbing for apples, which can be difficult for the little ones, Martha Wright of Gracious Occasions suggests this game: Tie apples, donuts and other items of your from a clothesline, hang them at varying heights and have children try to eat them while they’re hanging. A lot of laughs are guaranteed.


Apple Cider:

For a more comfortable feel, Kujawa suggests serving cider in pottery. “I could see it served this way with apple or pumpkin pie,” Kujawa says. You can also display it in glass and serve it with cinnamon sticks and cinnamon-flavored candy. 

Display by Lenette Kujawa 

of Aflair Events


Caramel Apple Bar:

For a fun twist on dessert, try a caramel apple bar. Simply insert Popsicle sticks in the end of apples, melt candy caramels in a double boiler (this worked better than homemade caramel in Wright’s experience) and set up an assortment of toppings. “We put out toasted pecans, crushed cheese crackers, crushed Oreos, M&M’s and cranberries and chopped walnuts,” Wright says. “You need to make sure the caramel is hot, so the toppings stick.” 

Display by Martha Wright of Gracious Occasions


Help for the Host
Before you plan your fall gathering, check out these pointers from the pros.

1. Experiment before your event.
The original plan for the caramel apple bar was to make homemade caramel, but when trying it a couple days before we set up, I learned it didn’t stick as well. We then tried melting caramel candies, which worked much better. Be sure you experiment early so you’re not left with a mess on the day of the party.  —Martha Wright, Gracious Occasions

2. Class it up, if you wish.
Remember that you can make an event as casual or as elegant as you want. While the usual apple pie dessert works fabulous for casual gatherings, you can serve something such as an apple tarte or apple tartlettes at more formal affairs.  —Lenette Kujawa, Aflair Events

3. Expand your horizons.
The world of apple-flavored drinks expands far beyond simple apple cider. Consider serving the cider with additional flavors such as caramel, and consider having coffee available as well.  —Lenette Kujawa, Aflair Events

4. Make new uses for old things.
We displayed the caramel apples on a cake stand, and the bobbing for apples game displayed apples in a galvanized steel tub.  —Martha Wright, Gracious Occasions