Place the sugar in a saucepan, and moisten it with the water without stirring. Bring to a boil and cook until light golden brown. Immediately pour the caramel into an 8 to 9 cup mold (a cake pan will do) and swirl and tilt the mold to coat it with the caramel, including the walls.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and let it foam. Add the apples and cook on medium low heat, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the brandy and flame it, then continue to cook, shaking the pan, for 2 minutes or so.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and cinnamon. Stir in the half-and-half and the apples. Pour this custard into the caramel-lined mold and bake in a water bath for 50 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Remove the flan from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Run a knife around the edge of the mold then turn the flan out onto a serving platter. Pour any caramel sauce from the mold over the flan.
Recipe courtesy of Gale Gand