1. Prepare Basic Pastry (www.familycircle.com) through Step 3.
2. Divide dough in thirds. Shape, flatten into disks; wrap in plastic; chill 30 minutes.Filling:
3. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Stir in reserved 1/2 cup cherry liquid. Bring to boiling, stirring constantly; cook 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in extract. Fold in cherries. Let cool.
4. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out 1 dough disk into 12-inch round on floured surface. Fit into 9-inch pie plate. Trim off excess dough. Pour cherry mixture into prepared crust.
5. Roll second disk onto floured surface to 11-inch round. Cut out vent holes. Center dough over cherry mixture. Trim off excess dough.
6. Roll remaining disk 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Gently braid strips together; press onto lightly moistened piecrust edge; join ends of braid together to cover edge completely.
7. Bake in 400 degree F oven until crust is golden and filling bubbles, 40 to 50 minutes. If crust browns too quickly, cover edge with foil strips during last 20 minutes of baking. Cool on rack. Makes 12 servings.