3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, cubed
3/4 cup shortening
9 to 10 tablespoons cold water
1/3 cup sugar or Splenda or 1/4 t Stevia powder
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot starch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups fresh or frozen pitted dark sweet cherries, thawed, halved
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in butter and shortening until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed. Divide dough in half; form each into a disk. Wrap separately in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
In a large saucepan, combine the sweetener, water, starch and lemon juice until smooth. Add cherries. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in extract. Set aside to cool.
On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut out 12 - 5" circles. Transfer circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Spoon 2 tablespoons cherry mixture onto the center of each circle. Brush edges of pastry with egg. Fold circle in half; press edges with a fork to seal. Optional: For a nice shine, brush tops with egg; sprinkle with coarse sugar. I can't have eggs or sugar so I brushed water on the top of mine and sprinkled with Truvia.
Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
Let pies stand for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.