6 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (6 cups)
1¼ cup apple cider or juice
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2½ tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups regular rolled oats
½ cup white whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons tahini
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or rice
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
6 pitted Medjool dates

Bars & Filling:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or use a silicone baking pan.
For filling, in a large saucepan combine apples and ½ cup of the cider. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add maple syrup, 1 Tbsp. of the lemon juice, cornstarch, and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat.
In a food processor combine 1½ cups of the oats and the next four ingredients (through salt). Pulse until mixed. With processor running, add milk until mixture starts to cling together and is slightly moistened. Transfer ½ cup of the mixture to a small bowl. For crust, press remaining mixture into bottom of prepared pan. For topping, add the remaining ½ cup oats and the walnuts to mixture in bowl; toss. Spoon apple filling over crust. Crumble topping over apple filling.
Bake 40 minutes or until bubbly around edges. Cool at least 30 minutes.

Cider Caramel Sauce:
Place dates in a small bowl; add boiling water to cover and let stand 15 minutes. Drain well. In a small food processor, combine dates and the remaining 4½ tsp. lemon juice and 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon. Process until smooth. Gradually add ¾ cup apple cider until sauce is pourable.
Cut apple bake into bars. Serve bars with Cider Caramel Sauce.