Apple Pie on a Stick? What Could be Better?

St. Peter's Episcopal Church's Apple Festival will be held this weekend.

Women organizing St. Peter's Episcopal Church's Apple Festival drove to Cheshire to buy apples early on Wednesday morning, and were soon back at their church to wash, prepare and bake the fruit into apple crisps in time for the weekend.

Festival visitors will be able to sink their teeth into apple pies, apple sauce cake, apple brownies ... and even apple fretes.

"This year, we have cinnamon apple craisin scones and apple pie on a stick," Susan Cappucci said.

Cappucci sat around a table in the lower level of St. Peter's with other women in the Knit-One-Pray-Too knitting group. The festival organizers were making prayer shawls.

"We made over 300 of them," Alice Waller explained. "We give them to those who need prayers. It's to let them know that someone is thinking of them and praying for them."

The Apple Festival, the church's biggest fundraiser, will be held on the Monroe Town Green from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12.

"It's a fun day for the entire family," Cappucci said, "and it's a major fundraiser for the church too."

Aside from all the sweets, the festival will attract 70 crafters from throughout New England and there will be children's games, two moon bounces, face painting and prizes.

Those entering the raffle can win a handmade quilt, a weekend get-a-way to Cape Cod and a painting of a poppy by local artist, Barbara Lopez.

Another raffle boasts an Apple iTouch as the main prize.

Mason's Farm Market will be selling flowers. And Cappucci said community organizations, including the Monroe Historical Society and the Girl Scouts, will have booths.

There will be a wide variety of knick knacks, such as towels, spoons and plates. "I made ceramic apple themed spoon racks," Marilee Prusaczyk said.

But St. Peter's Apple Festival is all about the food.

Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken cutlets and french fries will make up the main courses, and festival goers will want to leave a lot of room for dessert.

Some parishioners baked pies, but Cappucci said most of them were bought from Oronoque Farms Gift & Bakery in Shelton.

"We'll have double-crust apple, apple crumb, blueberry and strawberry-rhubarb," she said.

The apple fretes will consist of fried dough topped with apple pie filling; and the apple brownies will actually be blondies with chocolate chips and apples, according to Cappucci.

"With ice cream on it, yummy for the tummy," said a wide-eyed Waller.

And that's not all.

The menu also includes Snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, thumbprints filled with apple-spice jelly, double fudge brownies, apple strudel and sugar cookies in the shape of apples, butterflies and sunflowers.

Caramel apples are expected to be a hit.

"Oh, they're pretty," Prusaczyk said, "especially when Linda decorates them."

Linda McCoy drizzled white and dark chocolate and sprinkles onto each caramel apple.

The festival is also the place to go for jams and jellies made with fresh-picked strawberries, raspberries, wine berries and blackberries. Jugs of homemade cider will be sold to wash it all down.

"We tested everything and gained five pounds," Cappucci said with a smile.

Prompting Joan Lopez to reply, "Only five pounds?"


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