In a medium saucepan bring the water to boiling over medium-high heat. Stir in rice and salt. Cook, uncovered, for 5 to 6 minutes or until water is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Stir in dried cherries and apricots.
Meanwhile, pour milk into a 4-cup microwave-safe liquid measuring cup or medium bowl; microwave on 100 percent (high) power for 2 minutes. Stir in cinnamon.
Add the hot milk mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, to the rice mixture, stirring until liquid is absorbed (this should take 20 to 25 minutes total). Remove from heat. Stir in almond extract. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.