Fixing "OpenSSL certificate verify failed" Error with Ruby on OSX Mountain Lion

I spent days trying to correct an OpenSSL issue with the excellent Rails Composer utility and thought I would post the solution here in case it would help someone having the same problem.
This problem started when I replaced my MacBook Pro hard disk drive with an SSDĀ drive and used the occasion to do a clean install of MacOSX Mountain Lion. This allowed me to shed dozens of GB of cruft, and rock a very speedy MBP to boot; but also introduced this infuriating error which would rear its ugly head every time I tried to use Rails Composer as follows:

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