In a large bowl, cover the rice with 1 inch of water. Let soak 1 hour; drain well.
In a medium pot with a lid, bring 8 cups water to a boil. Salt the water, add the rice and cook 4 minutes; drain and transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the cranberries and 2 tsp. thyme. In a small bowl, whisk the stock, butter and 1 tsp. salt.
Wash and dry the pot; add the oil. Heat over medium until shimmering, then swirl the pot to coat halfway up the sides with the oil. Add the rice mixture and lightly press down with the back of a large spoon to flatten. Drizzle with the stock mixture. Cover with a kitchen towel, then the lid, folding the towel over the top of the lid. Cook, undisturbed, 30 to 45 minutes, testing with a knife to see if a crust has formed on the bottom.
Using a knife, loosen the rice from the sides of the pot. Carefully invert onto a plate, crispy side up, scraping up any shards stuck to the pot, if needed. Top with the almonds and the remaining thyme.