Follow the manufacturer’s directions for prepping your ice cream maker’s churning bowl so that it is completely chilled prior to starting your ice cream.
Combine egg yolks, coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a blender and process until smooth.
Pour mixture into a medium sauce pan, and heat over medium low just until steamy. You should see little bubbles forming around the edge of the pan. DO NOT BOIL.
Slice vanilla bean down the middle, and scrape the tiny "vanilla sand" inside into the hot coconut milk mixture. Whisk thoroughly to combine. For more intense vanilla flavor, put the whole cut vanilla bean pod into the hot ice cream mixture, and then fish it out before pouring the ice cream mixture into the ice cream maker.
Continue to cook the coconut milk and vanilla bean mixture until it has thickened to the consistency of a thin custard.
Remove from heat and whisk in the vodka. Vodka, or rather the alcohol in the vodka, keeps the ice cream from getting too hard and crystalizing in the freezer. (For alternative preparation, see note below.)
Refrigerate mixture about 2 hours, or until completely cold.
Pour mixture into ice cream freezer and prepare according to manufacturer’s directions.Add mixture directly to chilled ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. (It should take about 35-45 minutes.) When finished churning, the ice cream should have the consistency of soft serve.
For soft-serve style ice cream, serve immediately. For a harder, scoopable ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer for 2-3 hours. Take out and place on the counter for 10 minutes to soften for serving.
Alternate "vodka-free" Preparation: 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract can be substituted in place of the vanilla bean and vodka. Note that, if you are concerned about alcohol in your ice cream, vanilla extract contains as much alcohol as vodka. Either way, the vanilla extract or vodka MUST be added AFTER the mixture is taken off the stove. The alcohol helps to keep the ice cream from getting too hard.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.