1. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 500°. Mix the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in the cherries and almond extract. Spread the filling in the unbaked pie crust bottom.
2. Top with a second pie crust or weave lattice strips over the top for a classic look. Seal and crimp the edges. Lightly brush the top with water and sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the top.
3. Place the pie on the heated baking sheet and lower the oven temperature to 425°. Bake until the top is golden, about 25 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet, reduce the oven temperature again to 375°, and continue to bake until the juices are bubbling and the crust is a deep golden brown, 30-35 minutes, longer. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and cool to room temperature before serving.