In a small saucepan, combine dried cherries and brandy or apple juice. Heat over low heat just until liquid is hot but not boiling; set aside to cool and plump cherries. In a large bowl, stir together the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, the cornstarch, and cinnamon. Gently stir in pears, cherries and any remaining soaking liquid, lemon peel, and vanilla.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with foil; sprinkle lightly with flour. Place Lower-Fat Oil Pastry on baking sheet; roll from center to the edges into a circle about 13 inches in diameter. Transfer pear mixture to center of pastry, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold border up over pear mixture, pleating pastry as necessary to fit. Sprinkle center with sliced almonds.
Brush top and sides of pastry with milk. If desired, sprinkle lightly with additional granulated or coarse sugar. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serve warm or cooled to room temperature. Makes 10 servings.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and salt. In a small bowl, combine the oil and milk; add oil mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir lightly with a fork until combined. If necessary, stir in 1 tablespoon additional fat-free milk to moisten (dough will appear crumbly). Shape dough into a ball.