1. Drain cherries, reserving 1/3 cup juice. Place cherries in large bowl. Add reserved 1/3 cup cherry juice, 2/3 cup sugar, tapioca, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, lemon juice, almond extract, and cinnamon. Mix well and set aside at room temperature.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of 2-quart oval, round, or rectangular 2-inch-deep baking pan and set aside.
3. Place milk, flour, remaining 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, remaining 1 tablespoon vanilla, and salt in blender and blend one minute at highest speed. Pour 1 and 1/2 cups batter into prepared pan. Set aside remaining batter.
4. Bake in pre-heated 350 degree F. oven 10 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and pour reserved cherry mixture over baked crust. Dot with butter and pour remaining batter evenly over cherries. Return to oven and bake 35 minutes, Serve immediately with cream, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.
Whenever I make anything involving cherries (except for maraschino ones), I think of the humor writer Erma Bombeck, and in particular of her book "If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?"