No peeling, no slicing, no long baking, and homemade - four good reasons to prepare this apple dessert. Serve it while just warm enough to melt the edges of a scoop of ice cream.

Microwave Caramel-Apple BakeTwo 20-ounce cans sliced apples

16 vanilla caramels

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Topping: 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 tablespoons margarine or butter

Ice cream or frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed (optional) Drain apples, reserving 1/4 cup liquid. Cut up large pieces of apple. Set aside. In a microwave-safe 11/2-quart casserole combine reserved apple liquid and caramels. Cook, uncovered, on 100 percent power (high) 2 to 3 minutes or until caramels are soft enough to stir smooth, stirring twice during cooking. Add apples and lemon juice. Toss to coat.

For topping, in a small mixing bowl combine flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping evenly over apple mixture. Cook, uncovered, on high 7 to 9 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped dessert topping, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 213 cal., 2 g pro., 42 g carb., 5 g fat, 2 mg chol., 75 mg sodium.