This pared-down pâté is based on liverwurst. Use Usinger's or Schaller & Weber brand liverwurst for best results.
Place cherries in a small saucepan with just enough water to cover; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook 3 minutes or until soft. Drain cherries; cool slightly, and finely chop.
Cook bacon in a small skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Finely chop bacon.
Add shallots, thyme, salt, pepper, garlic, and bay leaf to drippings in pan; cook 2 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat. Add cognac, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
Remove and reserve bay leaf. Place shallot mixture, cream cheese, and liverwurst in a food processor; process until smooth. Place in a small bowl; stir in bacon and cherries. Place bay leaf on top of pâté. Cover surface of pâté with plastic wrap; chill at least 8 hours. Sprinkle with pistachios before serving, if desired.