As Tevye once asked, "Where does this tradition come from?...I'll tell you. I don't know." But nonetheless, these are our traditions, and we will follow them as we see fit.
This year, someone took a video of this ritual observed by the Sanz Klausenburg sect in Brooklyn's Borough Park, focusing on a rebbe with a very formidable pitching arm and the frantic reactions of the community members around him trying to catch the apples he tosses.
The video has, naturally, since gone viral.