In a large bowl, mix cherries with sugar, cornstarch and black pepper until the fruit is evenly coated. Transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add cream and mix just until the dough comes together.
Pat into a 1/2-inch-thick round. Cut out like a tic-tac-toe board; arrange on top of the cherry mixture. Brush the biscuits with cream, then sprinkle them with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees until the filling bubbles and a toothpick inserted into the biscuits comes out clean, tenting with foil if the biscuits are browning too quickly, 35 to 40 minutes.