For filling, in a medium saucepan combine the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, and orange juice or water. If using fresh cherries, let the mixture stand for 10 minutes. Or, if using frozen cherries, let the mixture stand for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, for biscuit topping, in a small mixing bowl stir together the cornmeal, flour, pecans or walnuts, sugar, and baking powder. Cut in the margarine or butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl stir together the egg yolk and milk. Add the egg mixture all at once to the cornmeal mixture. Using a fork, stir just until moistened.
Cook and stir the cherry mixture over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Reduce heat.
Immediately spoon biscuit topping into 4 mounds on top of hot cherry mixture. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle sugar mixture over the biscuit topping. Cover saucepan and simmer over low heat about 10 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the topping comes out clean. Serve warm. If desired, serve with half-and-half, light cream or ice cream. Makes 2 servings.