Red Queen Tarts - Deborah Geering - Atlanta Magazine

Deborah Geering

Our columnist's musings on the local foods scene


Red Queen Tarts

Smarter tarts by Candice Reynolds


If there’s a soft spot in your heart for Pop-Tarts, it may harden and crumble when you try Candice Reynolds’s version of the toaster treat.

The Snellville native’s Red Queen Tarts were a hit before the ink was dry on her business license, thanks to a friend-of-a-friend’s Thanksgiving party discovery and a resulting blurb in the New York Times blog The Moment. Now Reynolds is cranking out tarts by the hundreds each week, all by hand. Her delicacies are a serious reworking of the childhood standby—a flaky, sugar-crusted pastry laced with grown-up fillings such as brandied sour cherry and Prosecco-spiked fig with Brie.

Reynolds, a pastry chef who launched her Roswell company to introduce fellow food lovers to good-for-you sweets, disdains shortcuts. She works a piece of dough to specifications developed over months of trial and error. Roll, roll, roll. Fold, fold, fold. Turn. Roll, roll, roll. Each sheet, enough for eighteen tarts, takes about an hour. She maintains “crazy-high standards” for ingredients, which must be organic, minimally processed, and, whenever possible, regional. She uses apples from Ellijay; a Colonial-style, heirloom whole-wheat flour from South Carolina’s Anson Mills; and citrus from a grower in Florida who doesn’t wax the fruit. The mere mention of gelatin causes her to make a “yuck” face.

A beautifully packaged box of six tarts is $24 plus $10 shipping for local delivery. They keep refrigerated for a week; just reheat in the oven. Toaster ovens work, too. 770-789-5258,

Photograph by Caroline Kilgore

Deborah Geering is one of our contributing writers.
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