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At the End, Sweet Apples

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

(File Photo Craig Herndon -- The Washington Post)

2 cups regular or soy milk

3 tablespoons brandy (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

For the apples: In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the apples and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes; do not let them get mushy. Stir in the brown sugar and lemon zest and cook until the apples are caramelized, 2 to 3 more minutes. The brown sugar and juices should become thick and syrupy. Spread the apple mixture over the bottom of the prepared baking dish and set aside.

For the custard: In a food processor, combine 3/4 cup sugar and the eggs and process until the mixture is light and lemon-colored. Add the oil and process until just combined. Add the flour and pulse just until combined. Add the vanilla, milk or soy milk and brandy and pulse just until combined. Pour the custard over the apples.

Bake the flan for about 25 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and the custard is barely set. Turn the oven to broil, sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar evenly over the top of the flan and broil for a few seconds until lightly browned (watch carefully; it burns easily). Serve warm or at room temperature.

Per serving: 333 calories, 5 gm protein, 39 gm carbohydrates, 18 gm fat, 64 mg cholesterol, 2 gm saturated fat, 31 mg sodium, 3 gm dietary fiber

-- Candy Sagon

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