32 oz (or 2 16-oz cans) tart red cherries or other fruit
2 Tbsp cherry or other fruit juice
2/3 c sugar
1 Tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
1 tsp almond extract
Small amount egg or milk wash
1/2 tsp sugar, optional for sprinkling on top
Place dry ingredients, shortening, and butter in food processor. Mix well.
Add milk and lemon juice and blend until dough forms small clumps or a large ball. Remove dough from food processor and shape with hands into a ball. Flatten dough to circular disk, wrap tightly, and chill 30 minutes.
Meanwhile make pie filling by combining cherries, cherry juice, sugar, quick-cooking tapioca, and almond extract in bowl. Let stand while rolling pie crust.
Massage dough between hands until warm and pliable, making crust easier to handle. Roll half of dough to 10-inch circle between two pieces of heavy-duty plastic wrap dusted with rice flour. (Keep remaining half wrapped tightly to avoid drying out.) Use damp paper towel on counter top to anchor plastic. Be sure to move rolling pin from center of dough to outer edge, moving around the circle in clockwise fashion to assure uniform thickness.
Remove top plastic wrap and invert crust, centering it over pie plate. Remove remaining plastic wrap and press into place. If dough is hard to handle, press entire bottom crust in place with your fingers.
Fill with cherry or other fruit filling for a 9-inch pie, but limit the amount of extra juice to two tablespoons. Roll remaining dough to 10-inch circle between floured plastic wrap. Invert and center on filled crust. Don’t remove top plastic wrap until dough is centered.
Shape decorative ridge around rim of pie plate. Prick crust several times with fork to allow steam to escape. Freeze 15 minutes. Brush with milk or beaten egg, if desired, for glossier crust. Sprinkle with sugar. Place on nonstick baking sheet.
Bake pie in preheated 375º oven for 15 minutes on lower oven rack to brown bottom crust. Move to next higher oven rack and bake another 25 to 35 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned. Cover loosely with foil if edges brown too much.
Cool thoroughly on wire rack to allow juices to thicken before cutting.