It’s important to use refined coconut oil here; you don’t want any coconut-y flavors competing with the vanilla.
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons organic or granulated sugar
- 1 cup refined coconut oil, melted, cooled slightly
Place vanilla bean and cashews in a large bowl and add 2 cups boiling water. Cover and let sit at room temperature at least 12 hours (hydrating the cashews thoroughly is key for a silky, smooth ice cream).
Transfer cashews and their soaking liquid to a blender. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; discard pod. Add sugar, and salt. Purée until smooth, about 30 seconds. With the motor running on medium speed, slowly stream in oil and purée until thick and creamy.
Immediately process cashew mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. (Head’s up: this will take longer than a traditional dairy-based custard to reach soft-serve consistency.) Do not chill before processing or oil will harden into tiny bits and texture will be grainy.
Transfer to an airtight container and press plastic wrap directly onto surface. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
Do Ahead: Cashews can be soaked 3 days ahead; cover and chill. Ice cream can be made 1 month ahead; keep frozen.