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Pour most of the coconut milk into a saucepan, reserving a splash in a small bowl for later. Add the sugar, salt and turmeric (for colour) to the pan. Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways (if using) and scrape the seeds out of both sides with the side of the knife. Put the seeds and the pod, or vanilla paste, into the pan. Warm on a low heat for 10 mins until the sugar has melted and the mixture starts to steam.
Mix the cornflour with the reserved coconut milk in a small bowl until smooth. Pour into the hot milk, and continually whisking, heat for another 5-10 mins until the mixture thickens to a pourable custard consistency. Strain into a bowl, and cover. Leave to cool, then chill for at least 2 hrs.
Pour the chilled mix into an ice cream maker, and churn for 20-30 mins until you get a soft scoop ice cream. Transfer to a sealable container and freeze for up to 3 months until ready to serve. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the chilled mix into a wide-based plastic tub or dish. Freeze for 2-3 hrs, stirring the mix every 20 mins with a fork, to break up any large ice crystals, until soft ice cream. Transfer to a smaller tub and freeze until ready to serve. You should be able to scoop the ice cream easily from the freezer, or leave for a few mins at room temperature to soften, if you need to.