In a medium, heavy saucepan, heat cream over medium-low heat until just bubbly, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, divide the cherries and pecans among eight 6-ounce custard cups or five 8-ounce individual baking dishes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, the 1/4 cup sugar, and vanilla. Gradually add the heated whipping cream. Place custard cups or baking dishes in a large, shallow baking pan. Pour egg-yolk mixture into dishes. Set pan on rack in a 325 degree F oven. Pour enough hot water into the baking pan around the dishes to reach about halfway up the sides of the dishes.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the centers comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven. Carefully lift dishes from the water bath. Cool dishes on wire racks. Cover and chill the desserts in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Before serving, remove the custards from the refrigerator; let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place the 1/3 cup sugar in a small, heavy saucepan. Place over medium-high heat until sugar begins to melt, shaking saucepan occasionally to heat sugar evenly. Don't stir. After the sugar starts to melt, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes more or until all of the sugar is melted and golden, stirring as needed with a wooden spoon.
Quickly drizzle the caramelized sugar over custards. If sugar starts to harden in the saucepan, return to heat, stirring until melted. Serve immediately. Makes 8 regular or 5 large servings.
You can chill these desserts for up to 24 hours before serving with the caramelized sugar.