Very nice little pies!! (and being OC when doing polymer clay can be a very Good thing!).
translucent clay . . .I haven't played with it enough to figure out what it's really supposed to do for me.
Well, translucent clays
(and clays mixed with translucent) can do various
They can add a bit of visual depth and complexity to opaque clays so that they look less "cartoony" for skin/etc (sculpted or caned).
They give a more life-like "organic" quality to other natural materials made as fauxs with polymer clay (stone, wood, rock, jade, ivory, etc, etc).
They're also the clay of choice when using "inclusions" (herbs, spices, pigments, glitters, etc.) so that those things will actually show up down "into" the clay, not just a little bit on the very surface.
Some clay colors and brands already have some amount of translucent in them though, from regular colors one might not expect like a yellow or dark blue, to mica-containing clays like gold/silver/copper/Pearl/etc, as well as SuperSculpey and even glow-in-the-dark clays, etc.
Translucents (alone or lightly tinted) can also do special effects like "floating canes." A floating cane is made from translucent sections and more-opaque sections. When the cane is sliced very thin and those slices are applied and rolled into/onto other clay, the translucent parts will "disappear" after baking and leave the opaque parts visible so they appear to float over the background clay underneath.
And translucents are often used when making stacks of clay colors for the "mokume gane" technique.
Very thin sheets of translucent clay can also be used as a "sealers" over various things, though that isn't done as often as it was before liquid polymer clay became available.
Btw, using a gloss sealer over baked translucent clays, or or sanding then buffing them to a sheen or gloss, is usually done to bring out even more depth than just leaving translucents with their natural matte baked surface --they "polish" up very well!
If you want to read a lot more about translucent clays and using them, check out this page:http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/translucents-glow.htm
...And there's a bit more about using translucents in this previous Craftster post:http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=234791
I was too happy with the outcome to risk screwing it up with paint.
If you wanted to use an acrylic paint to "antique" or "highlight" your crust areas, you could just audition the effect by putting it on the way you want, then rinsing all the paint off before it dries
if you don't like it (acrylics will even come off a little longer than that, if you use a brush).
If you'd used artists' oil paint, you'd have to use an oil paint solvent to get those off but oil paints take a long time to dry and won't soak in much till they do so.
(more on highlighting and antiquing as well as paints used with clay, on this page, if you're interested:http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/paints.htm
...click on Antiquing
and/or on Acrylics
Also, you might want to check out other ways of "browning
" polymer clay crusts (and breads) too to make them look more dimensional/realistic on the Miniatures
page of my site:http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/miniatures.htm
(...look under the category Breads
since that's where "browned" effects mostly are, and under Pies
... and there's also info on making runny fruit stuff there as well if you want to add that to a pie, under Frostings, Icings, Jellies, etc
There's more on polymer pies on this page too:http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/houses_structures_gingerbread.htm
(...click on Cookies, Pies, Cakes
HTH, and have fun!!