This is a very old recipe given to me by a dear friend who got it from her mother, who in turn received it from her mother, well, you get the idea. It is absolutely delicious. I think the lemon sauce is the key. While baking, your kitchen smells wonderful, especially at Christmas time. It is a great addition to a brunch, as a dessert, or just with a cup of coffee. I had reservations about tempering the egg with the hot liquid, and I must admit, I still have to remove a piece of cooked egg from the sauce every now and then, but that's ok, it doesn't alter the taste one bit.
1Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 2x9x12 pyrex baking dish. Mix sugar and spices well. Add molasses. In another bowl dissolve soda in buttermilk; set aside. Melt butter and add to sugar/spices mixture. Add buttermilk/soda and mix well. Add eggs and stir in flour, mixing well after each addition. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and bake approximately 35-40 minutes, according to how oven bakes (my oven is self-cleaning and seems to get hotter than some ovens, so I have to keep watch when baking.) **Since posting this recipe I have since started making this in a larger baking pan so the gingerbread itself will not be as thick when cooked. However, the above size pan is in the original recipe.
Melt butter and add sugar and lemon juice and water. Cook in saucepan on top of stove, bringing to light boil. Lightly beat egg and carefully temper (add a small amount of hot mixture at the time to the egg, mixing well, until egg mixture is warm enough to add to cooking mixture or you can use the boiling water to do this.) Gradually add tempered egg to cooking mixture and cook until mixture is slightly thickened. Cook about 10-15 minutes, slowly. Spoon sauce over gingerbread while hot. NOTE: I have tweaked this a bit by adding lemon zest to the lemon sauce.
2NOTE: I have added this Caramel Sauce recipe as an alternate sauce. It is delicious for a change or in case you are not fond of the lemon flavor.
CARAMEL SAUCE: Melt butter in saucepan. Add sugars, cream, and pinch of salt. Let come to a boil and boil 2 minutes. Add vanilla. Pour warm sauce over warm cake. The warm cake will absorb all that good sauce.