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Recipe for Colonial gingerbread with lemon sauce

Colonial gingerbread with lemon sauce.
Colonial gingerbread with lemon sauce.Food styling/Sheryl Julian and Janine Sciarappa; Photos by Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Makes one 9-inch square cake

Transplanted New Englander Sue Conrad, who now lives in North Redington Beach, Fla. wrote, “I found this recipe years ago in a 1960s Good Housekeeping magazine, back when recipes didn’t require ingredients that were exotic or could only be used in one particular dish.’’ The flavor of molasses is strong (in a good way); the buttermilk tenderizes the cake and gives it a little tang, helped by the lemon sauce.

CAKE

Butter (for the pan)

Flour (for the pan)

2 cups flour

1 cup molasses

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

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1 egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

Confectioners’ sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square pan, and dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

2. In an electric mixer, combine the flour, molasses, buttermilk, sugar, butter, egg, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.

3. With mixer set on its lowest speed, beat until blended, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 more minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.

4. Transfer the batter to the pan. Bake for 1 hour or until top springs back when pressed lightly with fingertip. Cool on a rack. Cut into squares and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Serve with lemon sauce.

LEMON SAUCE

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups cold water

1 egg, lightly beaten

Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.

2. Slowly add the water and egg. With a heatproof spatula, stir constantly until the mixture just comes to a boil and thickens.

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3. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the lemon rind and juice.

4. Serve with gingerbread. Adapted from Sue Conrad