Sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the half-and-half, sugar, vanilla pods, vanilla seeds and pinch of salt. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar and avoid scorching the milk. Reduce the heat and add the gelatin and buttermilk. Strain through a fine sieve, removing the vanilla pods and any milk solids.
Pour mixture into 8 small ramekins and let cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Transfer to fridge and chill for 3 hours. To serve, briefly dip the bottoms of the ramekins in warm water and invert onto dessert plates.
BYOC: Top with your favorite fresh berries when in season. If you have the time, try and make a creamy caramel sauce by using sugar, water and half-and-half. Be creative and swipe the plate in a creative pattern. Let your inner artist come out.
Recipe courtesy of Claire Robinson, 2010