Put the flour and 2 tbsp of the sugar in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the spread and mix until coarse crumbs form. Add the fromage frais, then, with the motor running, add the water, 1 tbsp at a time, processing until the pastry holds together. Shape into two 20cm discs, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together the cherries, cornflour and almond essence in a large bowl. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Coat a 23cm pie tin or dish with cooking spray. On a lightly floured surface roll out one of the pastry discs into a 38cm round. Gently roll the pastry onto the rolling pin and ease into the pie dish. Trim the edge, leaving a 2.5cm overhang. Brush the pastry with about 2 tsp of the egg white mixture, then spoon in the cherry filling.
Roll out the remaining disc of pastry into a 30cm round. Cut into strips 2cm wide using a fluted pastry or pizza wheel. Weave the strips on top of the filling to make a lattice pattern. Trim the ends, leaving a 2.5cm overhang. Make a 2.5cm stand-up edge, folding in the ends of lattice strips as you go. Flute the edge.
Brush the top of the pie with the remaining egg white mixture and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbsp of sugar. Place the pie dish on a foil-lined baking tray to catch any overflow. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C. Bake for a further 35–40 minutes or until the pastry is lightly browned and the filling juices are bubbling in the centre.
Some more ideas…
*In place of cherries, use other canned fruit packed in juice, such as apricots, mango or peaches. *You can also use frozen fruit for the pie filling.
*By using a little spread with fromage frais for the pastry, the fat content is quite modest when compared to the usual shortcrust. *While the vitamin C in cherries is diminished by the canning process, cherries are still rich in phytochemicals that battle free radicals, inhibit inflammation and help keep arteries healthy. This combination makes them a particularly fine food for improving blood pressure.