To peel apples, use a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler. It peels more quickly than a knife and will remove the peel without taking much of the apple flesh. Or use a crank-type apple peeler to save time.
If your brown sugar has become hard, you can soften it in the microwave. Place up to 2 cups of the hard brown sugar in a microwavable bowl, and microwave uncovered on High, checking every 30 seconds, until softened.