Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place flour and salt into a medium mixing bowl or into a food processor. Cut in shortening and butter and work with a pastry cutter until mixture is like coarse corn meal. If using a food processor, use the "S" blade.
Sprinkle in cold water, 2 tbsp. at a time, mixing until all flour is moistened and forms a ball. Do not overwork the dough. Divide into two balls. Cover with a dishtowel. Chill just until it firms up, then remove. Put aside.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar and flour. Mix well with cherries. Roll pastry out on a board lightly sprinkled with flour and sugar. Place bottom crust in 9-inch pie plate. Add cherry mixture. Sprinkle with almond extract and dot with butter. Cover pie with top crust, crimping edges, and adding slits to allow for steam to escape.
Cut a piece of aluminum foil about 3 inches wide and cover the edge of the pie to prevent excessive browning. (Remove foil during the last 15 minutes of baking.) Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until crust is brown and juices are bubbly. Makes a 9-inch, two-crust pie.
"Every summer, I find time in my busy schedule to bake a cherry pie for my dad for Father's Day. It's a two-day process--pitting the cherries one day and baking the next. It's really worth the extra work when you taste that homemade cherry pie, fresh from the oven. Serve it warm with vanilla ice cream."--Deborah Olson