Special equipment: four 6-ounce ramekins; a kitchen torch
Bring the half-and-half and saffron to a bare simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and refrigerate until cold.
Add the vanilla pudding powder to the chilled half-and-half and whisk until smooth. Divide the mixture evenly among four 6-ounce ramekins and let set for 10 minutes (or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 1 day).
Sprinkle the sugar evenly on top of the pudding (1 1/2 teaspoons per ramekin). Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar, then let set until hard, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.