Eau Claire's Main Street doesn't see a lot of action 364 days out of the year: Only a few businesses dot the nearly mile-long stretch. But on the Fourth of July, the place is one big party as visitors roll in for the Cherry Festival parade and cherry-themed baking contest. Joyel Timmreck, 2014's grand-prize winner, turned over the recipe for her blue-ribbon cherry pie. She used to make it with blueberries, but Joyel tweaked it for the contest after a friend persuaded her to enter.
Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the crushed graham crackers and melted butter in a medium bowl. Press into the bottom and up the side of an 8-inch pie plate. Bake until lightly golden brown, 10 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, make the cream cheese filling: Beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Add the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar; beat until smooth.
Make the cherry filling: Bring the cherries, granulated sugar, cornstarch and almond extract to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 8 minutes. Let cool completely.
Pour half of the cherry filling into the pie crust; top with the cream cheese filling, then the remaining cherry filling. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.