These freeform pies are a fun way to learn to decorate with pie dough—and their cute look is super easy to achieve! Focus on keeping the bases of the tarts similar in size, so they bake and brown evenly. Sparkling sugar gives the edges of the crust a beautiful glisten, but turbinado sugar or granulated sugar will work in its place.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out each sheet of puff pastry to flatten slightly and lengthen to be about 10-by-12-inches. By hand, cut 5 strawberry shapes with a paring knife from each sheet. They should be about 3 1/2 inches at the widest (top portion), and about 3 inches long. Reserve the scrap pieces of dough off to the side.
Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheets. Poke holes in the center portion of the dough with a fork (don’t dock the outer 1/2 inch all the way around).
In a medium bowl, stir the sugar, cornstarch and nutmeg together to combine. Add the strawberries, and toss well until they are evenly coated.
Arrange the strawberries in the center portion of the dough, overlapping to fit as many as you comfortably can while keeping them in an even, fairly flat layer. Leave the outer 1/2 inch of dough around the outside edge uncovered.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg and water to combine. Use the tip of a paring knife to cut pieces from the remaining scrap dough to emulate the tops of the strawberries. Don’t worry if they’re all different—so are real strawberries! Use a small amount of the egg wash to attach the stems to the top portion of each pastry, overlapping a portion of the strawberries.
Brush the egg wash on all of the exposed crust and garnish generously with sparkling or sanding sugar.
Bake until the strawberries are tender and the crust is deeply golden brown, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
The pies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.